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Thursday, June 16, 2011

9:00 a.m. work session


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09:03:04 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Tampa City Council is called to

09:03:04 order.

09:03:05 The chair yield to the honorable Harry Cohen.

09:03:08 >>MIKE COHEN: It's my pleasure to welcome Richard Rabbi

09:03:13 Birnholz.

09:03:14 You may remember that he gave us some word of wisdom at

09:03:17 our swearing-in so please rise.

09:03:20 Following that, the pledge of allegiance.

09:03:22 >> Let us pray.

09:03:24 Our God, we live in a world of uncertainty, turmoil,

09:03:27 and violence.

09:03:29 In our attempt to control these, remember that we look

09:03:32 for answers in quick fixes.

09:03:35 Unfortunately, easy answers exact a high price.

09:03:39 Too often they lead to prejudice and discrimination as

09:03:43 we blame others for our problems.

09:03:47 Help us to realize, O God, that a far better way to

09:03:50 influence our world for the better is to take

09:03:53 responsibility for our actions and to see our tasks as

09:03:56 opportunities instead of obstacles.

09:04:00 May our zoning issues leave room to build compassion.

09:04:04 May our budgeting account for human error.

09:04:08 May our selection process place fairness at the top of

09:04:12 list.

09:04:13 And may our ordinances reflect the belief that people

09:04:20 come before principle and that other people's opinions

09:04:24 matter.

09:04:25 Bless this City Council, O God, and all who work with

09:04:29 them.

09:04:30 Give them the courage of their convictions and the

09:04:34 humility to know that doing your will is their most

09:04:37 pressing agenda.

09:04:39 Amen.

09:04:39 [ Pledge of Allegiance ]

09:05:05 >>YVONNE CAPIN: Present.

09:05:06 >>FRANK REDDICK: Here.

09:05:09 >>MIKE COHEN: Here.

09:05:09 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Here.

09:05:10 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Here.

09:05:16 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: We do have one ceremonial activity,

09:05:19 presentation of the police Officer of the Month.

09:05:20 That would be Mr. Frank Reddick.

09:05:31 Good morning, Mr. Chairman, members of council.

09:05:33 It is my privilege and honor to recognize our officer

09:05:36 of month, and it is sergeant mark Delaige.

09:05:44 >> Thank you, on behalf of Chief Castor and what I

09:05:53 believe now is on behalf of Sergeant Mark Delaige, I

09:06:00 will be happy to accept his award for Officer of the

09:06:03 Month which we rarely give to a sergeant.

09:06:06 I can tell you sergeant Delaige was announced by Chief

09:06:11 Castor, recognized him for his attention to duty, and

09:06:16 council's ability to keep our budget strong for public

09:06:20 safety.

09:06:21 Sergeant Delaige does his best job to keep the slots

09:06:27 that the taxpayers are paying for full so we can

09:06:30 provide the safety, council and the chief desire on the

09:06:33 street of Tampa.

09:06:34 And he also is very active in supporting officers

09:06:38 during their stressful times, the loss of our officers,

09:06:42 sergeant Delaige is instrumental in bringing the teams

09:06:45 into the field, to the stress debriefing programs for

09:06:49 the officers, not only in the City of Tampa but in the

09:06:52 region, and sometimes statewide.

09:06:54 So again, on behalf of Chief Castor and sergeant Mark

09:06:59 Delaige I happily accept his award.

09:07:01 Thank you, council.

09:07:02 >> Thank you, chief.

09:07:06 I present this to you.

09:07:08 >> Tampa PBA, a $100 gift card.

09:07:20 >> Bill Foster from Straz Center for the public arts,

09:07:27 couple of tickets.

09:07:28 >> Good morning.

09:07:32 Steve Stickley representing Stepp's towing service.

09:07:35 On behalf of Jim and Judy, Todd Stepp, we would like to

09:07:38 present this statute.

09:07:39 We changed it up a little bit for Paul, and also a gift

09:07:44 certificate.

09:07:44 And I'm kind of disappointed he's not here but that's

09:07:48 fine.

09:07:49 I understand the work he does with the critical

09:07:52 incident management team, and I respect that.

09:07:55 My wife is also a member of that team.

09:07:57 And I appreciate the stuff he does for us.

09:08:05 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you all very much.

09:08:06 We really appreciate it.

09:08:10 [ Applause ]

09:08:11 I need a motion to council by to open the workshop item

09:08:14 number 2.

09:08:17 Mrs. Mulhern, second by Mr. Cohen.

09:08:20 The Ayes have it unanimously.

09:08:21 I'm honored this morning to introduce an individual who

09:08:24 really, really, really needs no introduction.

09:08:27 In fact, him and I worked together when we were both

09:08:31 teenagers.

09:08:31 The honorable Mayor Bob Buckhorn is with us this

09:08:34 morning and he would like to be say a few word.

09:08:37 >> Mayor Buckhorn: You are correct.

09:08:40 You and I spent a lot of time up there at that dais,

09:08:43 and I am ever thankful for your tutelage.

09:08:47 Council members, this is the first time that I have

09:08:49 been here since I was sworn in, and I want to tell you

09:08:53 right up front that I appreciate our relationship.

09:08:56 I think it is a new relationship and it's a fresh

09:09:00 relationship.

09:09:01 I am proud to be your partners, and I hope you feel the

09:09:03 same way.

09:09:04 I think we are off to a good start.

09:09:06 I think there is an awful lot of optimism out there for

09:09:08 this community and what this community could be, and I

09:09:11 thank you for your willingness to take on some tough

09:09:14 issues and to help us get through this.

09:09:16 I am here today because of a tough issue.

09:09:19 I'm here today because of the importance of this issue

09:09:22 to me and ton this community.

09:09:25 And I want to thank you for the diligence and the

09:09:27 effort that you have put into this.

09:09:30 Particularly council member Cohen, thank you for

09:09:32 working to find a compromise.

09:09:35 I have made my position clear on this.

09:09:37 I would prefer a seven-day ban but I also understand

09:09:40 that there are others who have different opinions, and

09:09:44 I respect that because I know they are heartfelt, I

09:09:46 know they are genuine, and I know that they are based

09:09:48 on compassion and a recognition of a very, very complex

09:09:53 problem.

09:09:54 But I do believe that today is a time for moving nap

09:09:58 different direction.

09:10:00 I am willing to look at all kind of options.

09:10:05 Some I prefer more than others.

09:10:07 But I hope out of this workshop today that we will set

09:10:09 down a course for action.

09:10:11 This is a complicated problem.

09:10:13 We all understand that.

09:10:14 There is no single solution.

09:10:17 It needs to be comprehensive.

09:10:18 It needs to be holistic.

09:10:21 It needs to recognize that panhandling is symptomatic

09:10:23 of a much larger problem.

09:10:25 But panhandling has to stop.

09:10:27 It's that simple.

09:10:28 And so whatever compromise you end up with, something

09:10:32 is better than nothing.

09:10:34 And so I would urge you to move out of this workshop

09:10:36 today with a course of action.

09:10:40 I will be there to support you.

09:10:41 I also will support you as we look at a more

09:10:45 comprehensive plan to deal with homelessness, even

09:10:48 though the City of Tampa doesn't do social services, we

09:10:51 have a pulpit, we have a moral obligation, and I think

09:10:55 there are things that we can do to be helpful to

09:10:57 resolve this.

09:10:58 But the beginning of this starts today, and the end of

09:11:02 the situation as we currently know it starts today.

09:11:05 And so I urge you, as strongly as I possibly can, to

09:11:11 let's move out of this workshop, let get a course,

09:11:15 let's stick to that course, and let's start moving on

09:11:19 dealing with this issue in a more holistic fashion.

09:11:22 But thank you.

09:11:23 Our staff is here to talk to you.

09:11:24 We have put a lot of work into this.

09:11:26 We appreciate your efforts working with us.

09:11:29 But we are ready to move forward and hope you are as

09:11:32 well.

09:11:33 So thanks, everybody.

09:11:35 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thanks, Mr. Mayor.

09:11:36 We appreciate it.

09:11:37 Any comment by council members?

09:11:38 Thank you very much.

09:11:39 We appreciate your visit.

09:11:41 And wish to see you here more often.

09:11:44 Yes, sir.

09:11:45 This is going to start this workshop.

09:11:47 And after the workshop is concluded by staff and City

09:11:50 Council members, we'll have 30 minutes input from the

09:11:53 general public.

09:11:55 >>JIM SHIMBERG: Good morning.

09:11:55 Jim Shimberg, city attorney.

09:11:57 Here with the workshop if you look at the agenda there

09:12:06 are five items listed in this agenda.

09:12:09 I'm thinking one way to approach the issue might be for

09:12:12 us to deal with number 1, 2 and 3, and then you could

09:12:18 have some public comment, and then 4 and 5 are really

09:12:20 more council discussion items.

09:12:22 So what I would propose, Ms. Kert from our staff is

09:12:31 really the expert on this, speak to you a little about

09:12:33 what the other jurisdictions are saying, what the first

09:12:36 amendment law is.

09:12:36 The second item which the bill that senator Latvala

09:12:41 could not pass so that really doesn't need to be

09:12:43 discussed.

09:12:43 The third item is police department, Chief Bennett can

09:12:47 speak briefly, and then hear some public comment and

09:12:51 get into discussion if that's the pleasure.

09:12:53 That would be our recommendation.

09:12:55 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: That's fine.

09:12:56 >>REBECCA KERT: Legal department.

09:13:02 I want to start by providing a little bit of context to

09:13:06 this complex issue that you are continuing to deal

09:13:09 with.

09:13:09 First I wanted to just summarize the ordinances that

09:13:14 City Council currently has on the books.

09:13:16 The first one you have on the books which deals with

09:13:18 street solicitation prohibits street solicitation

09:13:22 except in limited circumstances.

09:13:24 Street solicitation is any involvement with a

09:13:28 pedestrian and an exchange with a motor vehicle when

09:13:31 that motor vehicle is in a travel lane.

09:13:33 The purpose behind the regulations on street sis

09:13:37 slayings is public safety.

09:13:39 The street solicitation, as I said, is a general

09:13:42 prohibition but is allowed during daylight hours, if

09:13:46 someone is over 18 years old in, a brightly colored

09:13:48 vest and certain limitations designed to make that

09:13:50 activity as safe as possible.

09:13:52 The other regulation that you currently have on your

09:13:54 book is a ban on aggressive solicitation. The

09:14:01 difference between the aggressive and street

09:14:03 solicitation is that your aggressive is a ban on

09:14:09 aggressive solicitation anywhere at any time.

09:14:11 It could be pedestrian to pedestrian.

09:14:12 It does in and out have to involve a pedestrian and a

09:14:15 vehicle.

09:14:15 And the purpose of the aggressive solicitation is to

09:14:18 make sure the people on the streets and sidewalks and

09:14:20 on private property are free from harassment and

09:14:22 intimidation.

09:14:23 I realize that this area is very difficult to regulate,

09:14:28 and in fact it should be very difficult to regulate in,

09:14:30 and let me try to explain why.

09:14:33 Since our country began actually even before that, the

09:14:36 sidewalks and the streets in our nation were where

09:14:39 people went to express their views.

09:14:41 It was cheap.

09:14:42 It was free.

09:14:43 And it may not make as much sense to us today in the

09:14:46 digital age when there's e-mails and text messages and

09:14:50 mass ways to connect with people immediately.

09:14:53 But from the beginning of our country's history, this

09:14:55 is the area which the are the quintessential forum,

09:15:00 place, where people go to express their views.

09:15:03 Therefore, any regulation that you or any other local

09:15:06 government puts on their streets and sidewalks are

09:15:11 strictly scrutinized by the court.

09:15:13 That does not mean that you cannot regulate in this

09:15:15 area.

09:15:15 What the courts have said is if you have a contact

09:15:18 neutral regulation that advances a substantial

09:15:21 government interest, and that your regulation is

09:15:24 narrowly tailored to advance that interest, and that

09:15:27 people still have alternative avenues to communicate

09:15:29 their speech, they will uphold that.

09:15:31 And I would like to go into just a little bit more

09:15:34 detail because I want you to bear this test in mind

09:15:39 with whatever path City Council decides to take at the

09:15:41 end of the day.

09:15:42 This is how the court is going to review whatever

09:15:45 policy decision you make.

09:15:46 First of all it should be contact -- content neutral,

09:15:49 which means whatever regulation you are advancing does

09:15:52 not prefer one group's speech or one person's message

09:15:55 over another.

09:15:56 The second one is that there's a significant government

09:15:59 interest.

09:16:02 In the area of street solicitation which is in fact the

09:16:04 subject of your workshop today -- and again that is

09:16:07 merely an exchange between a pedestrian and a motor

09:16:10 vehicle, when that motor vehicle is in a travel lane.

09:16:13 But Tampa significant government interest there is

09:16:17 fairly obvious, and that's public safety.

09:16:19 And the courts have said that it did not require an

09:16:25 intellect to realize that subpoena inherently

09:16:28 dangerous, and that's not my words, that's what the

09:16:30 courts have said, and the other terms they use, that

09:16:33 it's common sense that there is some sort of danger

09:16:35 involved when you have pedestrians trying to have some

09:16:38 sort of exchange with motor vehicles that are not

09:16:43 lawfully parked.

09:16:44 The third problem you have to pay attention to is

09:16:47 whatever path you take is narrowly tailored to advance

09:16:50 your significant interest in public safety.

09:16:52 And narrowly tailored does not mean it is the only way

09:16:56 to address this problem.

09:16:57 It doesn't even mean it's the least restrictive means

09:17:00 to address this problem.

09:17:02 But what it does mean is that whatever policy decision

09:17:04 you make is based upon factual evidence, and that more

09:17:11 over that it makes sense, that at the end of the day,

09:17:14 whatever policy choice you make actually directly

09:17:18 advances your interest in public safety.

09:17:20 And let me give you an example of Wan the court found

09:17:24 in the past that the state had taken in this area,

09:17:26 actually did not advance their goal of public safety.

09:17:30 At one time the state had a law that prohibited

09:17:33 commercial speech when it involved a pedestrian and a

09:17:37 motor vehicle, and it did not prohibit non-commercial

09:17:40 speech.

09:17:40 At some level that makes sense, because the

09:17:42 non-commercial speech, political speech is really at

09:17:45 the core of our foundation of the first amendment

09:17:48 protection.

09:17:48 What the court said is if your significant government

09:17:51 interest is in fact public safety, then it doesn't make

09:17:56 any sense to distinguish between a commercial speaker

09:17:58 and a non-commercial speaker.

09:17:59 They are both equally safe or unsafe, and that is

09:18:02 something to bear in the back of your mind when making

09:18:04 a decision.

09:18:04 And the final prong that the court will review again is

09:18:07 that whatever policy decision you make cannot

09:18:11 foreclosure all avenues that people have to solicit or

09:18:14 to share their speech with other and the court says you

09:18:21 have to leave opal tern tiff avenues of communication.

09:18:24 In this case, there hasn't been a conversation about

09:18:27 stopping all solicitation in all places in the city.

09:18:29 The conversation has been merely directed at speech

09:18:33 involving, again, pedestrians and motor vehicles, and,

09:18:36 therefore, the courts have found that that does leave

09:18:38 open ample alternative avenues for people to continue

09:18:43 on with their speech.

09:18:46 I did want to go -- some of the examples that I

09:18:50 provided to you in your handout of how some of the

09:18:52 other local governments in the area have tried to

09:18:56 address this.

09:18:58 One of the things that you had asked about was reported

09:19:00 out, the Senate bill that had been pending when you set

09:19:03 this workshop.

09:19:05 That did not actually end up passing.

09:19:07 What that bill did attempt to do was to revive a

09:19:11 current state statute on the books to allow local

09:19:13 governments to do a permit system.

09:19:15 There's currently a law on the books that does allow

09:19:19 local governments to do a permit system but requires

09:19:22 local governments to exempt out charitable originals.

09:19:25 That law has was declared unconstitutional many, many

09:19:30 years ago because was content based because it exempted

09:19:33 out one group's speech over the other and also wasn't

09:19:36 narrowly tailored, that it didn't make any sense if

09:19:38 your goal is public safety to single out charitable

09:19:41 organizations.

09:19:44 That Senate bill as I said did not pass so we still

09:19:46 have difficulty with lacking any sort of permitting

09:19:49 system and we would either be in conflict with the

09:19:51 state law or the federal Constitution.

09:19:54 Hillsborough County, as I'm sure you are aware, has

09:19:57 recently amended what has been a long-standing

09:20:02 prohibition of solicitation in the right-of-way that

09:20:05 they have had on their books.

09:20:06 Hillsborough County, since the early 1990s, has

09:20:09 prohibited any sort of solicitation interaction between

09:20:13 motor vehicles and pedestrians on county roads.

09:20:16 Earlier this year, Hillsborough County amended that to

09:20:20 expand that to include state roads, state lands, as

09:20:24 well as local and city roads.

09:20:27 The earlier version of that ordinance was upheld in

09:20:29 1995 in the middle district of Florida.

09:20:31 The court found it was content neutral, it advanced a

09:20:34 very clear common sense significant government interest

09:20:38 of public safety.

09:20:39 It was narrowly tailored to that and left open

09:20:41 alternative avenues of communication.

09:20:46 Since that, this model has already been upheld.

09:20:50 We do believe that hit legally defensible.

09:20:53 The other model that happened within the last year or

09:20:55 so was St. Pete.

09:20:57 St. Pete did something very similar to what

09:20:59 Hillsborough County did.

09:21:00 However, they limited their prohibition to interstate,

09:21:06 state interstate land, land, arterial and collector

09:21:11 roads, and they did that on the basis they looked at

09:21:14 their numbers, heard from their transportation expert

09:21:18 and determines those were congested roads and not just

09:21:20 from purposes of traffic counts but just overall those

09:21:23 were the most intense traffic areas where they were

09:21:26 most likely to have accidents and found that the most

09:21:29 narrowly tailored approach for their jurisdiction was

09:21:32 to limit just on those major roads.

09:21:36 That was actually challenged in again middle district

09:21:39 of Florida.

09:21:40 It was a request for preliminary injunction.

09:21:46 That was denied.

09:21:47 The plaintiff in that case dropped that lawsuit.

09:21:48 Although it was never finally resolved on the merits,

09:21:51 it has been preliminarily upheld.

09:21:54 The next example that I have is Pasco County.

09:21:57 Pasco County has not actually enacted the draft that I

09:22:01 provided to you.

09:22:02 They will be looking at that towards the end of July.

09:22:05 But they have advised their county attorney to go forth

09:22:11 and schedule that hearing.

09:22:12 Pasco County also has a ban on solicitation in the

09:22:14 right-of-way, again any sort of exchange between a

09:22:17 pedestrian and a motor vehicle, and they apply that

09:22:21 similar to St. Pete on the state roads, arterials,

09:22:24 collectors, and also include intersections even with

09:22:27 local road.

09:22:28 The one thing that Pasco County did do is they did

09:22:31 provide an exemption for Sundays.

09:22:35 They did that based upon the information that was

09:22:38 presented at that hearing, and they still have another

09:22:46 public hearing but decided there Watts was enough

09:22:50 factual evidence in the record to justify a Sunday

09:22:53 exemption.

09:22:54 Pasco's approach has not been enacted.

09:22:56 Therefore it has not been challenged.

09:22:58 I have not been able to find anything similar to that,

09:23:02 but has actually been challenged and either upheld or

09:23:05 denied.

09:23:05 That doesn't mean this approach is not legally

09:23:07 defensible.

09:23:08 But, again, if it's going to be legally defensible in

09:23:11 the City of Tampa, you need to remember the test that I

09:23:16 told you about and make sure that this approach in the

09:23:20 City of Tampa is also directly furthering the interest

09:23:22 and public safety.

09:23:24 I'm available for any questions.

09:23:27 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Any questions by council members at

09:23:29 this time?

09:23:30 Thank you.

09:23:31 Chief in

09:23:33 >> John Bennett, assistant chief of operations.

09:23:42 As mentioned earlier in the workshop, we have been

09:23:45 before council before talking about a very important

09:23:47 issue, also a tough issue as well.

09:23:49 Just to make a generalized statement, the officers in

09:23:52 the field, they look for tools in their tool kit to

09:23:54 make decisions every day.

09:23:56 Those tools come in the way of laws and ordinances, and

09:23:59 to give you a little bit of data, we work heavily on

09:24:02 data-driven decisions in the police department, and

09:24:04 that's kind of the crux of our business plan is to look

09:24:07 at data and wrap our enforcement strategy around data.

09:24:10 So I thought I would share with you a little bit of

09:24:12 data this morning as we created a signal to capture

09:24:15 some of these calls for service probably since late

09:24:19 fall of 2010, and I can share with you what's going on

09:24:22 in the street, and numerically from January through May

09:24:25 of 20711.

09:24:26 We are probably averaging close to three calls for

09:24:29 service a day for some kind of solicitation issue as it

09:24:35 pertains to the right-of-way.

09:24:37 Out of those calls for service, we are averaging about

09:24:39 one arrest inside those three with what's currently

09:24:42 available to the officers.

09:24:47 I can also put something on the overhead to kind of

09:24:51 give you -- the very top of the map is New Tampa.

09:24:57 And the different colors of the dots represent what

09:24:59 month they were called in to show it's pretty much

09:25:05 calls that happen every month through January, through

09:25:07 May of this year.

09:25:08 And as you work your way from the north to the top of

09:25:11 the map, you can see the next section which we call

09:25:14 sector C, the north end of Tampa, Busch Boulevard,

09:25:17 Fowler Avenue, the more dense -- I want to shop sprawl

09:25:21 and density.

09:25:22 As you see the density along the major corridors, the

09:25:25 interstate, Nebraska, Florida, as you go towards the

09:25:28 south, the east-west which is the right to left road in

09:25:31 the center is Hillsborough.

09:25:32 As you work your way down to downtown you can see the

09:25:35 cluster down in this area.

09:25:37 And as I push it up you can see down in the peninsula

09:25:41 and South Tampa the -- these are the calls for service

09:25:44 that are averaging about three a day since the

09:25:46 beginning of the year.

09:25:55 With that we mapped out the calls for service or

09:25:59 activity.

09:25:59 As you can see they generally pick up in the same area,

09:26:02 got lighter in the arrest cat in New Tampa but in north

09:26:05 Tampa, Hillsborough Avenue as you go down the main

09:26:08 corridors to the south, and as you push towards doubt

09:26:10 and South Tampa, and the Westshore area, and these

09:26:14 arrests, they varied.

09:26:16 They are part of the violation of the ordinance that's

09:26:18 in place that allows solicitation in the right-of-way,

09:26:20 but somehow they violated part of that ordinance, or it

09:26:23 could be for aggressiveness in the right-of-way.

09:26:26 I also selected a few calls for service, just to point

09:26:32 out some of the comments in each sector.

09:26:34 This one came in on March 22nd, and this would be in

09:26:37 the north end of the peninsula in district 1, basically

09:26:41 in the Westshore area, actually Himes and Hillsborough.

09:26:44 White female, white male sitting on the curb, when cars

09:26:48 approach they get up to ask money.

09:26:50 Complainant says they jump out into traffic and they

09:26:52 don't see them coming, present itself a danger.

09:26:56 We have solicitation based on fraud.

09:26:58 This one happened sadly on the 2nd of February

09:27:02 right after the family, the mother is accused of

09:27:05 murdering her two children in the military family.

09:27:09 Three black males, orange vests saying they were

09:27:11 collecting money for the Schenecker family, there were

09:27:17 no fund-raisers at this time.

09:27:19 That's all in district one.

09:27:21 I can go on and on but I won't unless you want me to.

09:27:24 I can give an example of the call for service

09:27:26 throughout the entire city that has those kind of

09:27:29 comment that the office -- officers are responding to.

09:27:32 In discussion with the sheriff's office, I would point

09:27:34 out that part of what's been discussed in legal aspect,

09:27:39 there is a disparate, and that causes enforcement

09:27:41 strategy differences between the city and the county.

09:27:44 The county just went ahead and included state roads in

09:27:48 their ban, and that didn't create a surge in their

09:27:52 activity because they were using something different

09:27:54 with the Florida Department of Transportation in their

09:27:57 trespassing.

09:27:57 So by adding state roads they really didn't see a surge

09:28:00 in their enforcement strategy.

09:28:02 Just their county ordinance replace wad they were using

09:28:05 in state law.

09:28:05 So, in essence, we have a difference of the way we

09:28:10 operate inside the city as compared to the county.

09:28:12 And with that, I will open it up for any questions as

09:28:16 it relates to risk.

09:28:21 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Mr. Reddick.

09:28:22 >>FRANK REDDICK: Chief, thank you for coming and thank

09:28:25 you for sharing that information.

09:28:27 But I want to ask you a couple of questions.

09:28:28 >> Sure.

09:28:30 >>FRANK REDDICK: One, if you look at the call for

09:28:32 services that you receive for those that complain about

09:28:35 panhandlers, and if you compare those calls for

09:28:39 services versus the calls that you receive for someone

09:28:43 about a robbery in place or burglary taking place,

09:28:46 which one would be most substantial?

09:28:49 >> As far as crimewise?

09:28:52 Robbery or burglary we are going to respond to. Our

09:28:55 priority system, that's what we are going to take

09:28:57 first.

09:28:57 >>FRANK REDDICK: And the second question I have, how

09:29:00 many people -- do you have data on the number of

09:29:05 panhandlers that have died in 2010 on the street

09:29:13 soliciting?

09:29:14 >> In the city, no.

09:29:15 I'm aware of one in the county that was hit by a

09:29:18 vehicle.

09:29:20 Colonel brown shared that experience with me.

09:29:22 I believe it was on the west side of the county.

09:29:24 He was hit by a vehicle.

09:29:26 And I don't know if it was just general solicitation or

09:29:31 they were selling something, but I'm aware of one.

09:29:33 >>FRANK REDDICK: And let me just finish with this.

09:29:41 Will it be more accurate, or would we agree that there

09:29:46 are more significant problems involving crime in the

09:29:51 city than those people who solicit on the street

09:29:53 corner?

09:29:56 >> I think the concern really comes in each day.

09:29:59 You know, when we look at a day, before handling three

09:30:02 calls for service, the community is calling in about

09:30:05 something.

09:30:05 And we have to respond.

09:30:07 And we also have the danger of engaging in that

09:30:09 scenario in the middle of street, which isn't safe for

09:30:11 the officer or the solicitor.

09:30:13 So anything that takes place in the right-of-way is a

09:30:16 danger.

09:30:17 It been our opinion all along that the streets are

09:30:20 marked and designed for crossing or walking along but

09:30:23 not to operate within.

09:30:25 There's a lot of rules and regulations that go with

09:30:28 construction workers to operate.

09:30:30 They have safety equipment.

09:30:32 They barricade the roads off.

09:30:33 They do all those kind of things.

09:30:35 So to put our officer in the middle of the intersection

09:30:38 along with somebody who is soliciting and they are

09:30:41 statically in that intersection creates a danger, we

09:30:44 are going to respond.

09:30:45 How that parleys into a day's call of service it just

09:30:49 depends on the priority of that nature but we say it's

09:30:51 inherently dangerous to be in the intersection

09:30:54 soliciting.

09:30:55 >>FRANK REDDICK: Thank you.

09:30:57 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Ms. Mulhern, then Mr. Suarez.

09:31:01 >>MARY MULHERN: I want to comment on Councilman

09:31:03 Reddick's question because I know I heard the reports

09:31:06 from the county's task force, and that one individual

09:31:08 that died was inebriated, right?

09:31:12 Had a high alcohol content.

09:31:16 >> It's my understanding there could have been some

09:31:17 alcohol involved.

09:31:18 >>MIKE SUAREZ: Chief, obviously we are looking at

09:31:23 changing this in some way.

09:31:25 Do you think, based on your experience, based on what

09:31:29 you know now, that doing a different type of ordinance

09:31:33 will increase your workload in or do you think it going

09:31:36 to be about the same but you are just going to have a

09:31:38 different way of actually treating it in.

09:31:41 >>> I believe if you look for the calls for service

09:31:44 approach, 500 in five months, the response to service

09:31:48 versus the tool kit for the officers to use is really

09:31:50 the only disparity.

09:31:52 We are still spending the energy right now.

09:31:54 I think if the ordinance was changed it would reduce

09:31:56 the workload because we would change what's going on in

09:31:59 the field, and there would be less calls for service

09:32:01 across a span of a week time.

09:32:04 But any portion of reducing risk to public safety, we

09:32:08 think is welcome and it would reduce our workload and

09:32:11 allow us to focus our attention on the things that

09:32:13 Councilman Reddick mentioned which are the more serious

09:32:16 offenses in the city.

09:32:20 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Any other questions by council

09:32:21 members?

09:32:24 Ms. Capin.

09:32:27 >>YVONNE CAPIN: Do you have a breakdown of what the

09:32:29 cost is for an arrest?

09:32:30 Could you tell us what that is?

09:32:32 >> Well, we do have a cost recovery program in the city

09:32:35 on a misdemeanor.

09:32:36 It pretty outdated but I'll say it's about $75 for cost

09:32:40 recovery on investigation.

09:32:41 We rarely are able to collect those moneys.

09:32:44 It has to go through the court.

09:32:46 And I don't think that's even close to the time of the

09:32:49 officer, the jail system, and of course the court

09:32:52 system to process all of that.

09:32:53 So I would have to say that number that's based on Wan

09:32:56 we put on our affidavits is outdated.

09:32:58 But it could be refreshed, uniquely for this

09:33:01 circumstance, but not right now.

09:33:05 >>YVONNE CAPIN: Thank you.

09:33:08 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Mr. Cohen?

09:33:15 >>MIKE COHEN: Chief Castor said that she wanted this

09:33:18 panhandling stopped.

09:33:19 Can you just tell us very briefly, from your

09:33:24 perspective, what are the things that makes it so

09:33:29 difficult for the police to deal with in the community

09:33:31 as they go about their daily business?

09:33:34 >> Well, first and foremost it's the interaction in

09:33:37 that environment.

09:33:39 I'll start with environmental.

09:33:39 If you go into a major intersection and you can pick

09:33:42 any one of them, there's obviously numerous ones,

09:33:46 whether it's Kennedy and Dale Mabry or all the way up

09:33:48 to New Tampa, Amber Lee, Bruce B. Downs, you have to

09:33:52 engage somebody in the middle of the intersection.

09:33:54 It hard enough to do that when your lights are on in a

09:33:57 traffic stop.

09:33:57 Now you have to exit your vehicle, get out and engage

09:34:00 somebody in the middle of the intersection unless you

09:34:01 can summon them to the side.

09:34:03 Sometimes you can and sometimes you can't.

09:34:05 So it's inherently dangerous for the officer, and for

09:34:09 the solicitor who is taking the risk to solicit in the

09:34:11 right-of-way.

09:34:12 That's part one.

09:34:13 The second part, as I mentioned earlier 12:fact we are

09:34:16 responding close to three calls a day city-wide on

09:34:19 solicitation coming from the community.

09:34:20 That's not self-initiated work by the police officer

09:34:24 saying, I see something, let me do this.

09:34:27 These are numbers that are being taken through the

09:34:29 calls for service system in dispatch.

09:34:32 So if we are responding to three calls a day, our goal

09:34:35 is to reduce crime, and of course improve the quality

09:34:38 of life, part of our challenge is those three calls a

09:34:40 day are taking us away from some of the other

09:34:43 self-initiated activity and the response activities

09:34:46 that can be controlled and/or eliminated in this public

09:34:49 safety environment.

09:34:50 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Chief, this may be for you or may

09:34:57 be for Ms. Kert.

09:34:59 In communities where there is a ban in place, to your

09:35:04 knowledge, or Ms. Kert, to your knowledge, has there

09:35:08 been a surge in the number of arrests or surge in the

09:35:12 number of calls for service?

09:35:13 Or has there been a decrease in either of those?

09:35:17 >>> From the testimony I have heard from looking at

09:35:19 some of our partners in the area, some of them like the

09:35:21 Hillsborough County sheriff's office, where an

09:35:24 expansion of the ordinance replaced what they were

09:35:26 using in state statute, there was no surge.

09:35:28 It was just kind of a legal swap-out of the state

09:35:33 statute for the ordinance and gave them a different

09:35:35 tool to work with.

09:35:36 When you look at St. Pete, who may have enacted

09:35:38 something, there's an initial surge, but then again to

09:35:40 look at the social side, I can toll you that our

09:35:43 officers use a lot of discretion, and they have a lot

09:35:45 of patience and understanding when they take an

09:35:48 encounter and that's probably where we are seeing only

09:35:52 one arrest out of every three calls, that they are

09:35:55 trying to warn, they are trying to make somebody

09:35:56 understand the rules currently.

09:35:58 So my answer would be that there would be an initial,

09:36:02 based on our enforcement strategy, there would be an

09:36:05 initial surge with working in warnings and trying to

09:36:08 make people understand the changes, and then I predict

09:36:12 a decline which is what most place does not see a

09:36:15 displacement into the business communities or in the

09:36:18 residential communities.

09:36:19 They actually see stop.

09:36:21 Now, the one challenge we have in the region is the

09:36:23 fact that because we have an ordinance that allows it

09:36:27 during the daylight hours understood the certain

09:36:29 conditions, things could have been pushed into the City

09:36:34 of Tampa and that's why some of the surrounding

09:36:37 agencies saw a decline because there was another place

09:36:39 to go within travel distance.

09:36:43 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Ms. Mulhern?

09:36:44 >>MARY MULHERN: Thank you.

09:36:45 I had a couple of questions.

09:36:47 And I'm not sure if we have -- I think St. Pete might

09:36:51 be the best model for us to look at if we are going to

09:36:56 adopt something like that.

09:36:57 Do we have numbers from them?

09:37:00 Has there been enough time for them to tell us how many

09:37:03 arrests were made and how many people were taken to

09:37:08 jail, and how long they stayed there?

09:37:12 And I think another question that's probably going to

09:37:15 come up, which is kind of an unquantifiable thing as we

09:37:21 look in the future, but if you are arresting someone

09:37:23 for panhandling, and you find out they are on probation

09:37:27 or they have other warrants out, what happens as far as

09:37:33 that?

09:37:34 Are you ending up putting people in jail for 30 days?

09:37:36 So that's -- I think it's important for us to know what

09:37:42 the likely cost.

09:37:46 Because at this point, I don't know, if we get to the

09:37:48 point where an individual is arrested for panhandling,

09:37:53 goes to jail, at this point we don't have any other

09:37:58 alternatives for them.

09:38:02 What is that going to cost us as far as enforcement and

09:38:06 how are we going to pay for that?

09:38:07 >> Well, first, it's been our experience on misdemeanor

09:38:12 offenses if there's been a change of ordinance just

09:38:14 like traffic ordinances, most of the time we get

09:38:17 compliance through the initial wave of enforcement.

09:38:20 You start to warn folks.

09:38:21 You start to explain what's changed.

09:38:23 And then just like you see the green vest.

09:38:26 That was an example of the ordinance.

09:38:28 There was an ordinance made that said you can do this

09:38:30 understood these conditions, and the green vest showed.

09:38:32 So there is an attempt to comply normally from the

09:38:35 community.

09:38:35 So doesn't all end up in an arrest bucket and going to

09:38:39 jail and then of course the subsequent cost of the

09:38:42 courtroom.

09:38:42 >> That was my question, do we have any numbers?

09:38:46 >>> We could get St. Petersburg's numbers.

09:38:49 I don't have them now.

09:38:51 But typically what we have seen is quick compliance

09:38:55 with an ordinance change.

09:38:56 Some of them, again we are making an arrest today out

09:38:59 of those three calls for service already.

09:39:04 That moved to three arrests today because there's three

09:39:06 calls for service.

09:39:07 I can tell you that it probably would not because for

09:39:09 the most part people are very compliant when you start

09:39:12 giving warnings.

09:39:13 So I see a change without a lot of arrests based on

09:39:16 what we have seen historically.

09:39:18 But we can get St. Pete's data.

09:39:20 >> Yeah, I think we need to see some numbers, if you

09:39:22 can get that, that would be good.

09:39:24 Thanks.

09:39:25 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you.

09:39:25 Any other council members?

09:39:26 All right.

09:39:27 We have heard from the city attorney James Shimberg.

09:39:30 We heard from the assistant city attorney.

09:39:33 And we heard from the police department assistant Chief

09:39:36 Bennett.

09:39:36 So we are going to open it up to the public for 30

09:39:40 minutes, and if there is a large amount of individuals

09:39:43 who would like to speak, I would like to ask council to

09:39:47 change the rules from three minutes to two minutes so

09:39:50 that everyone in the audience would have an opportunity

09:39:52 to speak.

09:39:53 The way it looks now, I'm doubtful that if we give

09:39:59 three minutes everyone in the audience will have the

09:40:00 opportunity to speak.

09:40:01 So with that said I would like to ask the council to

09:40:04 waive the rules and change it from three minutes to two

09:40:07 minutes so the good people here could have the

09:40:10 opportunity to speak.

09:40:11 Motion by Mr. Suarez, seconded by Mr. Reddick.

09:40:14 All in favor of the motion indicate by saying Aye.

09:40:17 Opposed, nay.

09:40:17 The ayes have it unanimously.

09:40:19 Change the clock to two minutes which is in essence two

09:40:22 and a half minutes.

09:40:23 First speaker, please.

09:40:29 >> I have some handouts.

09:40:43 >> I'm Jim Westman here representing Westshore alliance

09:40:46 which has over 350 employers which have over 32,000 can

09:40:52 employees, and it is definitely a safety issue, and it

09:40:55 is also maybe an image issue that prevents our

09:41:01 employees feeling comfortable, or being intimidated and

09:41:05 worried about doing harm to some of these street

09:41:09 people, and especially there have been anecdotal

09:41:14 evidence of some problems that they have encountered.

09:41:18 Our board passed a resolution supporting the Pinellas

09:41:24 County ordinance and presented that to the prior

09:41:30 council.

09:41:31 And we are urging you to call you to action because we

09:41:36 have all the other counties or municipalities around us

09:41:40 that have adopted this ordinance, and I believe it is

09:41:44 an extreme safety issue.

09:41:46 One anecdotal incident that happened to me on Martin

09:41:50 Luther King and Dale Mabry there, was a panel truck to

09:41:52 my right, and there was an individual at 8:00 in the

09:41:56 morning who was a little bit tipsy working three lanes

09:41:59 of traffic.

09:41:59 He went to the far outside lane and then cut in front

09:42:03 of that panel truck as traffic was coming.

09:42:06 I was in my car, and I noticed him.

09:42:09 And he slowed down and he cut right in front of me.

09:42:11 Otherwise I would have hit him if I didn't know once

09:42:15 the green arrow light.

09:42:17 It's very important that we clean this up because it

09:42:19 important of tracking -- attracting jobs into our

09:42:22 community.

09:42:22 We are going to have a national convention here in

09:42:24 2012.

09:42:25 A lot of press is going to be here and a lot of

09:42:28 businessmen and decision makers that could move jobs

09:42:32 into our community, not only the Westshore district but

09:42:34 the whole county I think would benefit.

09:42:39 Thank you.

09:42:43 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

09:42:44 Next, please.

09:42:44 >> Good morning.

09:42:47 I'm Kay Andrews, publisher of the Florida Sentinel

09:42:50 Bulletin newspaper.

09:42:52 I know we have several issues on the table, but I'm

09:42:56 here on behalf of the newspaper sellers of this

09:43:00 community.

09:43:01 My newspaper has been in existence for 66 years, and

09:43:06 sell on the street has been one of the things that has

09:43:09 sustained our business, as well as a lot of the young

09:43:13 people, older people in this community.

09:43:16 I know you have a very daunting task, and I want to

09:43:19 congratulate all of you who are reelected and elected,

09:43:25 and many of you have come before our board and many of

09:43:28 you have told us that you were going to help find a

09:43:32 solution for this problem.

09:43:34 Completely banning it will destroy a lot of jobs.

09:43:39 Completely banning it will destroy a lot of lives.

09:43:43 So please take this into consideration.

09:43:46 And I would hope that you guys will look up when I'm

09:43:51 talking to you to understand that this is an issue that

09:43:54 is unique to this community.

09:43:57 We are not St. Petersburg.

09:44:00 Tampa is far larger.

09:44:02 St. Petersburg does not have an African-American

09:44:05 newspaper.

09:44:06 St. Petersburg does not have two daily newspapers.

09:44:09 So these are the things that make us unique to a lot of

09:44:13 communities throughout Florida.

09:44:14 So you as a board I hope would find a solution that

09:44:19 would work for everyone.

09:44:22 I understand what the problem is.

09:44:24 The solution is not total banning.

09:44:27 Thank you.

09:44:32 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

09:44:33 Next, please.

09:44:37 >>RON ROTELLA: Westshore Alliance.

09:44:38 Would like to point out the map you saw earlier,

09:44:40 although it was disbursed around the city, the greatest

09:44:43 proliferation of those dots were in the Westshore

09:44:45 business district, and the examples of the two or less

09:44:51 were in district one within the Westshore business

09:44:53 district.

09:44:54 We are a business-based membership driven organization

09:44:57 and we respectfully request that you return the streets

09:45:01 and intersections in the Westshore business district

09:45:05 back to a business climate and not one with a

09:45:08 proliferation of anyone and everyone that puts on a

09:45:12 vest to be out there in those medians.

09:45:15 The other thing I will point out to you -- and this is

09:45:19 a personal experience of mine, this isn't hearsay.

09:45:22 The members of my board, the members of my

09:45:23 organization, serve on boards of agencies,

09:45:27 governmental, social service agencies, they volunteer,

09:45:31 and many social service agencies, they write checks,

09:45:38 contribute food and other services to deal with the

09:45:40 social aspect of this problem, but what they are asking

09:45:46 for in return is because we are a business district and

09:45:49 it does cost us money not only to open, but the taxes

09:45:53 and fees and refuse newspaper that we generate, is it

09:45:55 unreasonable for us to request that the Westshore

09:45:58 business district reflect a business climate and not

09:46:03 have the atmosphere that we have out there today?

09:46:06 We would rather see our public safety officials doing

09:46:08 what they are doing so well in the city today, and

09:46:10 that's reducing crime.

09:46:12 They have reduced crime in the business district and

09:46:15 throughout the city.

09:46:16 Let them focus on that because that's not only good for

09:46:19 business, it's good for the whole community including

09:46:22 residential neighborhoods.

09:46:23 Thank you.

09:46:24 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

09:46:25 Next, please.

09:46:26 >> My name is Sarah Romeo.

09:46:32 I'm CEO of Tampa crossroads.

09:46:34 We are a local not for profit.

09:46:36 We have been operating in Hillsborough and Pinellas

09:46:37 County for more than three decades to assist adult men

09:46:40 and women and their families from homelessness to

09:46:43 independence in this community.

09:46:45 I do not believe that we should have panhandlers on

09:46:49 every street corner in Tampa, yet my chagrin of seeing

09:46:54 the plight of neighbors is give than yours.

09:46:56 I am courage urging you as lawmakers in our community

09:46:58 to consider what you are Doug in passing a law today.

09:47:00 Criminalizing homelessness is not the way to deal with

09:47:04 this problem we are facing.

09:47:05 Even though we heard from TPD today, we have not heard

09:47:08 today how the law would be enforced.

09:47:11 Will you arrest and prosecutor issue a summons to

09:47:15 appear and pay a fine?

09:47:16 Are you prepared to spend up to $3,000 per person to

09:47:19 arrest and prosecute a homeless person for Hahn

09:47:22 panhandling?

09:47:22 Have you considered that a person has any prior record

09:47:25 that contacted a law enforcement officer could result

09:47:28 in a violation of probation which could land him in the

09:47:31 county jail for 30 days automatic?

09:47:33 The result is an overloaded jail population, more than

09:47:36 a $5,000 bill to the county, and at the end of 30 days

09:47:40 you are still dealing with a hungry and desperate

09:47:44 homeless person likely to extend his or her hand once

09:47:46 again for a few coins of crumbs.

09:47:48 In the past month I visited the Safe Harbor program in

09:47:51 Pinellas County where there is a capacity to house and

09:47:54 provide wrap-around services to over 350 homeless

09:47:58 individuals.

09:47:59 When a law enforcement officer is dealing with a

09:48:01 homeless individual in Pinellas, they have a choice,

09:48:04 shelter at Safe Harbor, or jail.

09:48:07 Then it's the person's choice, and the majority of them

09:48:09 are choosing to get the assistance they need and return

09:48:12 to stability during this program.

09:48:14 If you do not see this as a human rights issue or even

09:48:17 feel compassion for those who are caught in this

09:48:19 terrible economic downturn, then I want to give you

09:48:23 some numbers that might help your decision making.

09:48:26 Housing with services to transitional persons back to

09:48:29 employment and independence costs $24.56 a day.

09:48:35 Housing at the county jail is $100.06 a day.

09:48:41 So let's look at the scenario. If you arrest 30

09:48:43 panhandlers monthly and process through the criminal

09:48:47 justice system, the cost is $90,000.

09:48:50 If you jail 25% of those for 30 days, it adds 22,513.50

09:48:59 for a total cost to the city or county of $112,513.50.

09:49:07 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

09:49:07 >> Thank you.

09:49:08 I have some more numbers if you would like them.

09:49:12 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

09:49:12 Next, please.

09:49:13 >> Kathy Betancourt, University of South Florida

09:49:17 representing president Genshaft W.your permission, we

09:49:19 would like to read the president's letter to the

09:49:22 council.

09:49:23 I have with me university police chief Tom Rangel.

09:49:30 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: You are going to read the letter in.

09:49:32 >> Yes, sir.

09:49:32 Thank you for tackling the issue of panhandling, a

09:49:34 problem which is growing concern across our community.

09:49:37 We understand that there are a good number of trance

09:49:39 evenings issues related to this practice and we concur

09:49:42 that the overall societal situation is complex.

09:49:45 However, we very many respectfully suggest that first

09:49:48 and foremost the question before us as a community is

09:49:51 whether the city should act statutory authority over

09:49:57 roadways to ensure public safety.

09:49:59 The answer: Yes.

09:50:00 State law provides municipalities and counties with the

09:50:03 tools to manage our roadways.

09:50:04 The people of the City of Tampa would be well served

09:50:07 should you our elected officials put these tools to the

09:50:10 best use and eliminate this very dangerous practice.

09:50:13 I join many others in requesting that you take the

09:50:15 appropriate steps to passage of an ordinance banning

09:50:18 panhandling within the city limit.

09:50:20 Tampa has seen a surge in this aggressive panhandle as

09:50:23 other communities have banned it.

09:50:24 The medians in our roadways around USF are regularly

09:50:28 occupied by individuals soliciting funds from

09:50:31 motorists.

09:50:32 Citizens are rightly concerned about the impact of this

09:50:34 practice.

09:50:34 In the case.

09:50:35 USF area, we are not talking about quaint little

09:50:39 neighborhood streets.

09:50:40 These are big, dangerous thoroughfares where safety

09:50:43 issues for our students, faculty, staff and visitors

09:50:46 abound.

09:50:47 We have warned students who have died crossing these

09:50:50 streets or been struck by riding their bicycles.

09:50:52 On a daily basis, USF and other major institutions

09:50:56 located in and around our campus witness the growing

09:50:59 hazard which endanger ter public, diminish the quality

09:51:03 of life and hinder economic development in this vital

09:51:06 city sector.

09:51:08 It is unsafe for the panhandlers who teeter on uneven

09:51:11 and narrow medians occasionally stepping on tripping

09:51:14 into the lanes of fast-moving traffic.

09:51:17 It's unsafe for drivers who are accosted and sometimes

09:51:21 hazard when they break the study I flow of traffic to

09:51:24 hand money to outstretched hand.

09:51:26 We have even seen panhandlers hold cups up to the

09:51:29 windows of cars in order to generate sympathy and cash.

09:51:33 Panhandling is unsafe on many levels.

09:51:36 In addition to the safety issues, the unbridled

09:51:39 behavior is counter to our shared goals of developing

09:51:41 and growing our community.

09:51:43 The USF area is a regional activity center.

09:51:46 (Bell sounds).

09:51:48 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

09:51:48 >> I have copies of the letter.

09:51:52 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: We received them yesterday.

09:51:53 Thank you very much.

09:52:00 You got a great employer.

09:52:01 >> My name is Tanya wiseman, 3706 west Oklahoma

09:52:06 street -- Avenue, excuse me.

09:52:09 This issue with panhandling, I mean, there has to be

09:52:13 some type of boundaries.

09:52:14 I know it's a problem.

09:52:16 But we recently had a double homicide.

09:52:20 I was on my way to work.

09:52:21 I saw three officers handling one panhandler at the

09:52:26 corner of Manhattan and Gandy.

09:52:30 Hello?

09:52:32 I call homicides, crime, a little bit more important.

09:52:35 I understand the officers are doing all they can do

09:52:39 with the anger and unease and I would like to see a

09:52:42 little bit more done as far as crime.

09:52:44 I mean, when you take these people from panhandling,

09:52:46 what are they going to do?

09:52:49 Am I going to be the next victim of home invasion

09:52:52 whether it drug related? Whatever the situation is.

09:52:55 Come on.

09:52:55 There are people out there that are decent.

09:52:57 There are people out there, I want a beer.

09:53:02 Get a job.

09:53:03 You know, so there has to be some consideration with

09:53:07 people like the firemen.

09:53:09 They have the military.

09:53:12 And I am going to be outraged as a parent if I see a

09:53:15 TPD officer, law enforcement harass a Madison student,

09:53:20 any student out there trying to do a charitable cause.

09:53:24 The police right now need everybody's help in doing the

09:53:27 job that they need to do, and now would be a bad time

09:53:30 to irate the taxpayers and the people they need to help

09:53:35 them solve these crimes.

09:53:36 Thank you.

09:53:37 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

09:53:38 Next, please.

09:53:39 >> I'm Suarez, retired, West Tampa, fairly active in

09:53:48 voluntary activities, president of sacred heart church

09:53:51 chapter of St. Vincent DePaul, DAV homeless activities

09:53:56 and such.

09:53:57 And I don't like panhandling.

09:53:59 I don't like seeing people out there having to do that

09:54:02 to try to make some money for motel.

09:54:04 I don't like to see that.

09:54:06 I would rather have poverty well hidden.

09:54:09 I would like to have it nonexistent.

09:54:11 So I don't give to panhandlers.

09:54:13 Now, I might give them a slip referring them to an

09:54:17 appropriate service, particularly vets.

09:54:19 There's a good homeless vet recovery program.

09:54:25 Sarah Romeo has a program that helps homeless women

09:54:28 vets, a growing population.

09:54:30 We have lots more coming back.

09:54:32 Granted, there are bums out there, hustlers, there's

09:54:36 also ex-GIs that are trying to keep their house,

09:54:41 their parent out there, and trying to keep them

09:54:44 together.

09:54:44 But all the agencies put together don't come close to

09:54:47 providing the kind of housing that is necessary.

09:54:50 The government here has not been a good partner.

09:54:52 A few years ago, the Catholic charities tried to

09:54:56 establish a shelter similar to Pinellas hope, similar

09:54:59 to what's going on over in Pinellas and were turned

09:55:03 down by the county.

09:55:04 The city stood aside because you don't do homeless

09:55:07 services.

09:55:08 True, you don't get federal and state grants to do

09:55:11 that.

09:55:11 So I'm encouraged when I sigh you are considering

09:55:14 setting aside part of the revenue from red light camera

09:55:18 enforcement to provide some services.

09:55:19 That's a good sign.

09:55:23 The county would work with you on that would also be a

09:55:25 good step.

09:55:26 The county at the time said, well, it was a bad

09:55:28 location.

09:55:29 Well, NIMBE says it never a good location.

09:55:33 The county is still looking for that elusive better

09:55:35 location two years later.

09:55:39 So I have no doubt, try to come up with a yes to

09:55:44 helping those that are now panhandling, so they don't

09:55:47 have to be do it.

09:55:48 Thank you.

09:55:49 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much, sir.

09:55:51 Next, please.

09:55:51 >> I want to talk about a possible solution.

09:55:59 There's three components.

09:56:00 One, we are talking about people who -- Chip Thomas.

09:56:04 We are talking about people who are in a downward

09:56:09 spiral with no bottom other than jail, hospital, or

09:56:12 even a cemetery, finding work when they can't even keep

09:56:17 up with daily hygiene.

09:56:18 They have reached their level of basics that none of us

09:56:23 will ever know.

09:56:25 As a result of this we might find there are very

09:56:29 dedicated loyal hard working employees.

09:56:31 The second component is Tampa is not a clean city.

09:56:34 It's a very dirty city.

09:56:35 I don't think it's unreasonable to say it's filthy.

09:56:38 Outside of downtown and the nicer neighborhoods,

09:56:41 roadside trash and just a lot of neighborhoods, it

09:56:44 really needs a lot of work cleaning up.

09:56:47 Third component is there's a glut of empty residences

09:56:51 in this city.

09:56:51 You put them all together, and I have got to believe

09:56:54 there's a way to solve all three at the same time.

09:56:57 I know it's a simplified version.

09:56:59 There's a lot of details to hammer out.

09:57:01 There's money issues and financing.

09:57:03 But there are advocates out there looking for worthy

09:57:08 causes to get involved with.

09:57:09 There are retirees looking to volunteer that would

09:57:13 maybe oversee such a program.

09:57:15 We have students at HCC and USF and UT involved in

09:57:20 social work and in government programs that might be

09:57:22 interested in unpaid internships.

09:57:25 We have three big problems, and they all could be

09:57:30 connected if there's a will, there's a way, and plus

09:57:34 the fact these are problems that are not unique to

09:57:36 Tampa.

09:57:36 They are all over the country.

09:57:38 And wouldn't it be great if Tampa set up a program that

09:57:41 could be a model for the rest of the country to

09:57:43 address, not only the homeless and unemployed but the

09:57:46 foreclosure issue and any other work that needs to be

09:57:49 done?

09:57:50 Thank you.

09:57:52 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

09:57:52 Next, please.

09:57:53 >> Good morning.

09:57:57 My name is Mary Werner.

09:57:59 I live in New Tampa, been a resident there for over

09:58:03 seven years.

09:58:04 My husband is retired military, and worked at UCOM.

09:58:11 I'm also a realtor.

09:58:12 I go to church every Sunday.

09:58:14 And on my way to church I go down Cross Creek

09:58:16 Boulevard, if you are familiar with it and Bruce B.

09:58:18 Downs, and there's a corner there.

09:58:20 I make a left to go to St. James United Methodist

09:58:22 Church.

09:58:24 There are the nicest people selling newspapers there

09:58:28 that you would ever want to meet.

09:58:30 I happen to know one of them.

09:58:32 And over the years you get to nobody these people.

09:58:36 And they have real stories.

09:58:38 They have real lives.

09:58:40 They have real issues just like you and I.

09:58:42 And my reason for being here today is to help support

09:58:47 one individual in particular.

09:58:49 His name is Scott hill.

09:58:51 He was selling newspapers, which I buy every Sunday.

09:58:54 And an few weeks ago was arrested, after a sheriff told

09:58:58 him he could gob down and move to a different corner.

09:59:02 I don't understand why this happened.

09:59:04 And I would like someone to look into it.

09:59:08 I believe the gentlemen that sell newspapers should be

09:59:13 able to do so.

09:59:14 This is our inalienable right as an American.

09:59:19 The printing press started back -- let's go back in

09:59:22 history a little bit for America.

09:59:23 People have been selling newspapers on the corners of

09:59:26 streets all of our history.

09:59:31 So why can't they continue to do so?

09:59:33 I enjoy giving someone a dollar and getting a

09:59:36 newspaper.

09:59:36 I'm giving something back.

09:59:38 Now, I know this doesn't touch all the issues for

09:59:42 panhandling.

09:59:43 I understand that.

09:59:44 And there are people that are desperate for money.

09:59:47 And they hold up signs.

09:59:49 And I understand, and I'm very can compassionate for

09:59:52 them also.

09:59:52 But for the newspaper people, this should not be an

09:59:55 issue.

09:59:56 They are not panhandlers.

09:59:58 They are selling a product that I for one as a

10:00:01 resident, and a taxpayer, and a voter for Hillsborough

10:00:05 County, enjoy.

10:00:07 I like to be able to pull up to a corner and get my

10:00:10 newspaper.

10:00:11 It's nice.

10:00:12 It adjustment nice.

10:00:14 Scott is now in court today.

10:00:15 He couldn't be here today because he's in court.

10:00:19 He's got a $285 fine for doing something he was told he

10:00:23 could do, and then taken to jail.

10:00:27 And 30 days.

10:00:29 (Bell sounds).

10:00:31 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

10:00:31 Before I go to the next, this agenda item, public

10:00:35 comment, startled at 9:40, should end at 10:10.

10:00:39 I see individuals that are going over that time so I am

10:00:42 going to go to 10:10 then I will ask council's

10:00:44 permission to go to the last person in line if I may

10:00:47 for two minutes.

10:00:48 So next.

10:00:50 Then I am going to cut it off at the last gentleman

10:00:52 that's in line now.

10:00:53 >> Sam McIntosh.

10:00:57 Representing Sheet Metal Workers Union 15 and also

10:01:02 representing the building trades union here in Tampa.

10:01:06 We think this ordinance has casts such a broad net that

10:01:11 we think it affects our ability to lawfully, peacefully

10:01:13 handbill in the public right-of-way, and we have rights

10:01:16 under section 1983 federal law, and of course the

10:01:21 county has imposed this ordinance, and we are right now

10:01:25 preparing an injunction in the middle district court 6

10:01:29 here in Tampa, Florida.

10:01:31 And we understand there's a problem with panhandling.

10:01:33 But like I said, if this ordinance passes, it would

10:01:38 definitely have an effect on us with the four-foot rule

10:01:42 from us engaging motorists off the right-of-way.

10:01:45 And whenever we are out there doing our lawful

10:01:52 leafletting, we are not out into the median or anything

10:01:54 like that.

10:01:57 But if you move forward with this ordinance, we would

10:02:00 like you to add limited to commercial to speech

10:02:03 including panhandling.

10:02:04 And that would exclude our issues with our rights to be

10:02:10 out there to lawfully leaflet.

10:02:13 That's all I have to say.

10:02:14 >> Thank you very much.

10:02:15 I did speak to the city attorney today.

10:02:17 If you speak to them I believe we have clarity on that

10:02:19 issue.

10:02:21 Next, please.

10:02:21 >> Randy Barron, first of all I want to remind you all

10:02:26 that this is not banning panhandling throughout the

10:02:29 city.

10:02:29 It's banning panhandling in the places we drive.

10:02:33 I may be a little selfish here.

10:02:34 I'm just an average citizen.

10:02:36 I pay my taxes.

10:02:37 I am get in the car.

10:02:38 I feel like I should be able to drive from point A to

10:02:40 point B without being solicited in a dangerous fashion.

10:02:43 It not just the panhandlers who are at risk.

10:02:45 It's also the drivers.

10:02:46 I see a panhandler who trips in a very narrow median

10:02:50 while carrying a big stack of newspapers.

10:02:52 I think he's going to fall into the driving lane.

10:02:54 I swerve.

10:02:55 This happened to me.

10:02:56 Thank God there was no one next to me.

10:02:58 We should not have to wait till someone gets killed or

10:03:01 seriously injured in order to realize that this is an

10:03:04 extremely dangerous situation.

10:03:06 People have other options in this city to panhandle.

10:03:09 There are on the places that can do it.

10:03:11 I should not have to be exposed to Wan is essentially a

10:03:14 commercial while -- endeavor while I'm driving.

10:03:19 Those roads are for me to get to point A to point B.

10:03:22 If I want to engage in some sort of commerce I go to a

10:03:25 store.

10:03:25 That's my choice.

10:03:29 There are people in this city, there are a lot of

10:03:30 people in this city who are very upset about the

10:03:35 situation.

10:03:35 And that's why we are all here.

10:03:38 We wouldn't be talking about this unless we were having

10:03:40 three people call in every single day.

10:03:42 Three calls for service at a cost, as Ms. Romeo said,

10:03:46 $90,000 to the city already, one arrest a day.

10:03:49 If you have a tool that's going to ultimate lip reduce

10:03:51 these calls for service, free up the police in order to

10:03:55 handle on the kind of more dangerous situations, and

10:03:58 make the roads safer, for the average citizen, I think

10:04:02 that's a no-brainer, and still allow options for

10:04:06 panhandlers to express their opinions in other areas of

10:04:09 the city.

10:04:09 Thank you.

10:04:10 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

10:04:11 Next, please.

10:04:12 >> Susan Long.

10:04:17 Before I say anything, I know you all know my stance.

10:04:21 I want a complete and total ban on panhandling.

10:04:22 And my reasons are this.

10:04:23 First of all, we were discussing the homeless.

10:04:27 We know that only 5 to 7% of the homeless panhandlers.

10:04:31 That means that over 90% of them do not.

10:04:36 So it really isn't a homeless issue.

10:04:38 We also know that some -- and I don't know the

10:04:42 percentage and I'm not sure anybody else does either --

10:04:45 some of these are just criminals out there to collect

10:04:47 money anyway they can.

10:04:50 That's what they do.

10:04:51 When I drive home and I see a kid who isn't old enough

10:04:54 to shave panhandling in the middle of Hillsborough and

10:04:56 Nebraska with his father standing on the other side of

10:05:00 Hillsborough and Nebraska in what appears to be about a

10:05:03 16, 17-year-old sister panhandling on the corner,

10:05:06 something is wrong.

10:05:07 I know for a fact of at least two businesses, small

10:05:12 businesses, that intended to come to Tampa, came down

10:05:15 here to check it out, see what would be here, saw the

10:05:18 panhandling and said, ha ha, we are not moving here, we

10:05:21 are not subjecting ourselves, our families and our

10:05:24 employees to this.

10:05:25 I think it's unsafe.

10:05:27 I have had them stick their hand in my window, scare me

10:05:30 half to death.

10:05:31 Fortunately, they didn't do anything ton me, but that's

10:05:35 wrong.

10:05:35 I should be able to drive from point A to point B

10:05:38 without being harassed, without being afraid, without

10:05:40 having somebody essentially come into my car or at

10:05:44 least parts of them actually come into my car.

10:05:47 It's time for us to do something about this.

10:05:49 It's past time.

10:05:50 The issue is safety on the streets.

10:05:53 And having the panhandlers out there is not safe.

10:05:56 Not safe for us as drivers, not safe for them as

10:05:59 panhandlers.

10:06:00 It needs to be stopped.

10:06:01 Thank you.

10:06:02 12347 thank you very much.

10:06:03 Next, please.

10:06:04 >> Aaron Canilla with the safety council in Tampa and

10:06:12 we represent many unions across the area, and I want --

10:06:17 somebody spoke earlier here, that in a lot of our work

10:06:20 sites especially the construction phase that changed

10:06:23 quickly with workers going from one place to another,

10:06:25 the most quick and effective way to get in touch with

10:06:28 these workers is through work site leafletting.

10:06:32 The problem is when some of these work sites on

10:06:34 government property were not allowed to give

10:06:36 information out on that work site, so stand on the road

10:06:42 as they are pulling into the work site and hand them

10:06:43 information as they drive through.

10:06:44 What we are afraid here is that will fall understood

10:06:47 this new law and we won't be able to effectively give

10:06:52 our workers that, so if we limit to commercial speech,

10:06:57 I think it will work out.

10:06:59 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

10:06:59 Again I want to ask you to, the city attorney and I had

10:07:03 a conversation this morning.

10:07:04 >> Dan Woodard, a small business manager in Westshore,

10:07:08 a member of the Westshore Alliance.

10:07:10 I believe this is primarily a two-issue subject.

10:07:14 One, and first and foremost, it's public safety.

10:07:18 Our 39 employees have expressed to me they are

10:07:21 concerned not only for their own safety as they drive

10:07:23 the roads in Westshore and the City of Tampa but also

10:07:26 for the safety of the panel handlers themselves.

10:07:29 Our roads are not designed for transactions between

10:07:33 automobiles and pedestrians, nor should they be.

10:07:37 Second, this is an economic development issue.

10:07:40 We have several economic development agencies out

10:07:43 working very diligently to try to fight our 10, 11%

10:07:49 unemployment rate.

10:07:50 Panhandling is not the answer to our unemployment rate,

10:07:54 and it's not an effective or compassionate method for

10:07:59 handling our homeless.

10:08:00 Every other major municipality in the Tampa Bay area

10:08:04 has dealt with this issue already.

10:08:06 It is time for Tampa to deal with it.

10:08:09 Thank you.

10:08:10 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

10:08:11 Next, please.

10:08:12 >> Jim laker, 4218 west San Pedro, I'm also a lawyer

10:08:16 for "The Tampa Tribune, and we just want to express our

10:08:19 appreciation for the time and consideration you have

10:08:21 given to this issue.

10:08:22 And I just wanted to reap iterate a proposal that I

10:08:25 sent to council yesterday.

10:08:26 We believe that newspaper sales can be separated from

10:08:29 this panhandling issue and be done safely ons.

10:08:34 In a content neutral way as Mrs. Kert discussed based

10:08:38 on the difference in traffic counts and traffic

10:08:40 accidents.

10:08:42 The F dolt statics I provided show traffic is up to 45%

10:08:47 lighter on Sundays compared to other days.

10:08:50 Accidents are significantly less frequent on Sunday, up

10:08:54 to 66% less frequent if you compare different times of

10:08:57 the day.

10:08:59 Mrs. Kert mentioned Pasco's ordinance moving toward

10:09:02 permitting this activity only on Sunday.

10:09:04 In Tampa the disparity between Sunday and other days of

10:09:06 the week is even greater than in Pasco County.

10:09:09 So we think that's a good way to go.

10:09:12 I know there's been some concern about the Florida

10:09:14 Sentinel Bulletin, which I guess is distributed other

10:09:17 days of the week.

10:09:19 We have reached out to the Florida Sentinel Bulletin,

10:09:21 the Tribune has met with the Sentinel Bulletin

10:09:24 circulation manager.

10:09:25 The Tribune's publisher has written that newspaper's

10:09:28 publisher.

10:09:29 We would like to work out a way where this works for

10:09:32 both newspapers.

10:09:34 Maybe that would involve using the Tribune seven-day a

10:09:36 week distribution system to help the Sentinel Bulletin.

10:09:39 We don't know exactly what that would tan but we

10:09:41 believe there's a way that that can be worked out.

10:09:43 We also think if there are any safety concerns that the

10:09:46 Tribune's contractors can work with law enforcement to

10:09:49 address those.

10:09:51 In Pasco County, the draft ordinance as originally

10:09:55 proposed didn't require any solicitor to carry a state

10:09:59 issued photo ID.

10:10:01 The sheriff of Pasco County requested that addition.

10:10:03 That addition has been made and I understand the

10:10:05 Tribune's contractors are fine with that.

10:10:07 So if there are other issues like that that council

10:10:09 would like to incorporate, we think there's

10:10:11 opportunities to do that.

10:10:12 And the other thing I think is important to keep in

10:10:15 mind is the public education part of this.

10:10:18 Council is doing a great job of alerting folks that

10:10:21 there are alternatives, on the ways to help the

10:10:24 homeless short of giving money.

10:10:25 And when folks realize that, give to trinity cafe,

10:10:30 Metropolitan Ministries, rather than giving cash to a

10:10:32 panhandler, the incentive to panhandling dries up.

10:10:38 The federal court years ago wrote in its opinion that

10:10:41 city streets within the county are open for

10:10:43 distributing literature.

10:10:46 That wouldn't be true in a ban.

10:10:48 (Bell sounds).

10:10:50 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

10:10:50 I need permission from council.

10:10:52 We said 10:10.

10:10:53 I need an additional 15 minutes.

10:10:56 >> I move that.

10:10:57 >> Second.

10:10:59 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Moved by Mr. Suarez, second by Mrs.

10:11:01 Montelione.

10:11:03 The Ayes have it unanimously.

10:11:04 I have an additional 15 minutes to 10:25.

10:11:09 Next, please.

10:11:10 Otherwise I violate my own rules.

10:11:11 >> Gary Teny with the St. Petersburg Times.

10:11:15 Back in June of 2009 the city of St. Petersburg passed

10:11:18 their strict ordinance banning panhandling on the side

10:11:23 of the road.

10:11:23 This effectively put hundreds of people out of work

10:11:27 that try to sell newspapers on Sunday.

10:11:29 It also takes away what we provide to thousands of

10:11:35 people who choose to buy their newspaper this way.

10:11:37 It's been talked about on daily averages of accidents

10:11:41 and things, but we haven't talked or addressed Sunday

10:11:44 yet.

10:11:45 It comes out, is the city of St. Petersburg any safer

10:11:51 now?

10:11:51 Where do those people go?

10:11:53 Since 2009 the panhandling population over here has

10:11:56 exploded.

10:11:56 They came over here.

10:11:58 Way urge to you do is take a look at Pasco County, and

10:12:01 look at their ordinance, that's narrowly tailored that

10:12:06 leaves Sunday open to everybody so that hundreds of

10:12:09 people will not be put out of work, thereby adding to

10:12:14 the unemployment crisis that we are facing now, and

10:12:17 allowing thousands of people to buy their Sunday

10:12:22 newspaper in this fashion.

10:12:23 Thank you.

10:12:27 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

10:12:27 Next, please.

10:12:28 >> Darrin Driscoll, an independent contractor for the

10:12:31 St. Petersburg times.

10:12:33 Feel like this is my new office because we are always

10:12:35 back here.

10:12:35 Welcome to Tampa new council.

10:12:37 Thanks for this opportunity.

10:12:38 As I have said each and every time I come here, we at

10:12:42 the St. Petersburg times comply 175 people.

10:12:45 Start doing the math and multiply that by their

10:12:47 siblings.

10:12:48 I don't have to do numbers.

10:12:51 It's hundreds of people.

10:12:52 Today's economic times, Pasco County is proposing,

10:12:55 every time we come to this meeting it's the same thing.

10:12:57 It's really not newspapers that's the problem.

10:13:00 It's the panhandlers that's the issue here.

10:13:03 We want you to keep that in mind.

10:13:05 Even Tampa's finest.

10:13:07 I promise not to give their names.

10:13:09 I deal with them every Sunday morning.

10:13:11 Cross Creek happens to be my territory.

10:13:13 Scott happens to be one of my employees that I employ

10:13:16 on Sunday.

10:13:17 But keep in mind, whatever we do, the lives that we are

10:13:21 going to affect here, all of you understand, you want

10:13:25 numbers, you want stats.

10:13:27 I asked chief been tote come with numbers.

10:13:29 I got numbers for you today.

10:13:31 Fatalities for newspapers on Sunday in the City of

10:13:32 Tampa, zero.

10:13:35 That's a number you can put in the bank, put in your

10:13:38 pocket and seal it.

10:13:39 Zero.

10:13:40 Our people are acting as safe as they possibly can.

10:13:43 We are supervisors out there, and we want to work with

10:13:47 the City of Tampa.

10:13:48 We want to work with Tampa's finest.

10:13:50 Some of the nicest police officers I have ever met on

10:13:52 Sunday.

10:13:52 They don't want to be harassing us.

10:13:54 They say to our hawkers, look, you guys -- the

10:13:57 situation here is panhandling.

10:13:59 We all know it.

10:14:00 Let's be the new council members and I welcome you,

10:14:03 let's be that council that actually makes the solution

10:14:05 tags new mayor said today.

10:14:07 Let's make a solution, make it work for everybody.

10:14:09 What a win-win.

10:14:10 If you go on the blog and you read the people, nobody

10:14:13 wants to put these people out of work.

10:14:15 I know you are all compassionate people.

10:14:17 We are in America, greatest country in the world, land

10:14:20 of opportunity, freedom of speech.

10:14:22 Please keep this in mind when making the decision.

10:14:24 A six-day ban, keeping the newspapers, the

10:14:27 firefighters, any charities that want to collect on

10:14:29 Sunday, as Mr. Attorney just said, is a solution and

10:14:31 it's a win-win for everyone.

10:14:33 We know traffic is lower on Sunday.

10:14:35 We know fatalities are down.

10:14:36 We know that bicycling and texting, all those other

10:14:39 things.

10:14:39 These officers are way too busy to deal with such a

10:14:42 minuscule issue.

10:14:43 And again, zero fatalities.

10:14:45 Please keep than in mind.

10:14:47 Thank you very much.

10:14:48 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Again I am going to 10:25 and that's

10:14:50 it.

10:14:51 I had it cut off with the lady with the nice

10:14:55 salt/pepper hair.

10:14:58 I'm not trying to be a comedian but that's a fact.

10:15:01 Next.

10:15:01 >> My name is Gary seal with, single copy manager with

10:15:08 the "The Tampa Tribune."

10:15:09 I have met with several of you over the past months to

10:15:11 discuss the issues with the newspapers.

10:15:14 We have over 1507 hawkers that sell the newspaper on

10:15:16 Sunday here in the City of Tampa.

10:15:18 They all make close to 75 to $100 or more per day

10:15:22 working from approximately 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday

10:15:26 only to make that little bit of money that helps to get

10:15:29 them a shelter, keeps them in their house, whatever

10:15:32 they have got to do to do it.

10:15:33 I am here on their behalf to propose that we go with

10:15:37 the six-day ban.

10:15:38 The reason the six-day ban would work, it would allow

10:15:41 our hawkers to be out there on Sunday from just 7 a.m.

10:15:44 to 2 p.m. under daylight hours with vests, with any

10:15:48 other safety restrictions that we may need to do,

10:15:50 including adopting the ordinance that it looks like it

10:15:53 may pass in Pasco County next month, that would require

10:15:57 them to have an ID, a Florida identification.

10:15:59 So we check our people.

10:16:01 We make sure they are not drinking, not on drugs or

10:16:03 anything before they go on the street, and by having

10:16:06 them on the street, the panhandlers will not go on the

10:16:09 street with them because they know that our people are

10:16:12 providing a service and people will not donate to them,

10:16:15 they will buy the newspaper.

10:16:16 Now, on behalf of the people thatch buy the paper, we

10:16:18 have almost 207,000 people that buy the paper here in

10:16:22 metro Hillsborough, or in the Tampa area, every Sunday.

10:16:25 So we are providing a service to those.

10:16:28 We have numerous people write in and say that they want

10:16:31 to do this the right way and do a six-day ban.

10:16:34 Now, we did a TBO, there was a survey after the Pasco

10:16:39 vote a couple of weeks ago.

10:16:40 When we got the first 135 responses to the six-day ban,

10:16:44 90% of the public was in favor of the six-day ban.

10:16:48 Nobody wants to take the street hawker, or most people

10:16:51 don't want to take the newspaper hawker off the streets

10:16:54 on Sunday.

10:16:54 So we are proposing the six-day ban.

10:16:57 Thank you.

10:16:59 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

10:16:59 Next, please.

10:17:00 >> I'm Ed Tillou from north Tampa.

10:17:10 I have masters in public health hygiene safety

10:17:13 management from USF and I hope after I speak Ms.

10:17:18 Genshaft doesn't check the university rules to find

10:17:20 some way they can take that back.

10:17:24 There is a big difference between cars moving and cars

10:17:26 stopped.

10:17:27 I mean, the president doesn't have to have a masters in

10:17:31 public health to appreciate that.

10:17:32 Moving cars kill bicyclists.

10:17:34 People should be speaking about that here because many,

10:17:37 many people have been killed on that.

10:17:38 Instead we are going around and around on this.

10:17:41 Cars stopped do not kill people.

10:17:44 Persons sitting on the curb begging, as people have

10:17:47 done for millennium, they are sitting on the curb

10:17:50 begging with a sign, they get up, a hand comes out of

10:17:53 the car, they get a few coins or a dollar or two.

10:17:56 I mean, that's not unsafe.

10:17:59 This is 100 percent an image problem.

10:18:04 An image problem involved is the perpetrators of this

10:18:07 that destroy the economy for the past 20 or 30 years by

10:18:12 coming here, and they want to be shielded from the

10:18:15 confrontation, the possibility that they will be

10:18:18 confronted with the legacy of what they have done.

10:18:23 Now, there's a first amendment that pro tech people

10:18:26 from this kind of a thing.

10:18:29 My great, great, great, great grandfather was in

10:18:34 Washington's Army, second regimen, New Jersey line.

10:18:37 He was in the third regimen, New York militia, and he

10:18:41 didn't fight for the first amendment.

10:18:44 The Constitution came after the British were kicked

10:18:46 out.

10:18:47 The Bill of Rights came after that.

10:18:49 And I see the obscenity where newspapers might not be

10:18:53 distributed, where people in Orlando are trying to feed

10:18:57 homeless, and this is just something that's normal

10:18:59 because it keeps ratcheting up and ratcheting up for

10:19:04 the past 30 years.

10:19:05 So what I'm hoping is when this gets turned around, I

10:19:08 come here because this is at the core of the faith, and

10:19:12 the first amendment is not only freedom of speech, it's

10:19:15 freedom of religion.

10:19:16 And people are wanting to outlaw homelessness and

10:19:21 outlaw not so much homelessness but panhandling.

10:19:25 Turning these people to crime, and that whole issue was

10:19:29 twisted 180 degrees.

10:19:30 So, I mean, there's got to be some return to reason on

10:19:33 this because --

10:19:35 (Bell sounds).

10:19:36 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

10:19:37 Next, please.

10:19:38 And we con tab one more, the young lady that was here

10:19:41 in line.

10:19:41 >> Good morning.

10:19:43 Spencer Kass, 10501 North Howard Avenue.

10:19:46 First I want to congratulate all the council members.

10:19:48 I haven't been down here since everyone's swearing in.

10:19:51 Congratulations to everybody.

10:19:52 Second, I want to thank the mayor for coming down and

10:19:54 speaking on behalf of the neighborhoods.

10:19:57 We all know our position on this, which is we need a

10:20:01 ban.

10:20:02 Something has to be done at this point.

10:20:04 We can't keep going the way we have been going.

10:20:06 I am not going to repeat all the arguments you heard

10:20:09 before.

10:20:09 What I will say is we stand behind the Tampa Police

10:20:11 Department.

10:20:11 They say it's unsafe.

10:20:13 They say it's a public safety issue.

10:20:14 I have attended the meetings at the county.

10:20:16 I have attended the meetings here.

10:20:17 And I think what this ultimately comes down to is, do

10:20:21 you have faith and confidence in your police department

10:20:23 when they stand up here and they say we have a public

10:20:25 safety issue, we need help with the public safety

10:20:28 issue, we need council to help with us that public

10:20:30 safety I shall I.

10:20:31 Do you stand behind them?

10:20:32 Do you support them?

10:20:33 Or do you want to say we have other concerns that are

10:20:35 more important?

10:20:36 Because I have nothing but sympathy for the people who

10:20:41 are selling newspapers on the street.

10:20:42 But if we want to make this all about jobs, there's

10:20:45 tons of rules in the City of Tampa we can get rid of.

10:20:47 We can create all sorts of jobs.

10:20:50 We can throw the building code out.

10:20:52 We can legalize selling of drugs.

10:20:53 There's hundreds of things to be do if all we want to

10:20:56 do is create jobs.

10:20:57 But public safety has to be the number one concern, not

10:20:59 just for me and my family but for every family in the

10:21:02 City of Tampa.

10:21:03 Thank you.

10:21:04 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

10:21:05 Next, please.

10:21:05 >> Thank you, chairman.

10:21:07 I'm Kristin Burdick with the Tampa downtown partnership

10:21:10 and I more than appreciate the difficult deliberation

10:21:14 that this issue is raising.

10:21:16 It's one for every single one of the public and the

10:21:19 people that you represent, and I appreciate you taking

10:21:21 so much time to consider it.

10:21:22 I want to simply make you aware, I'm with the Tampa

10:21:27 downtown partnership.

10:21:28 We are also membership company, businesses in and

10:21:33 around and those that have any business in downtown

10:21:35 Tampa.

10:21:35 We took a survey of our members in April.

10:21:38 Simple survey, I can didn't a copy of this.

10:21:40 I have a copy for each of you.

10:21:44 And we just collated it.

10:21:49 It's a six-question survey.

10:21:52 And what it indicates is if the people are concerned

10:21:56 about panhandling in downtown, if they feel the

10:21:58 presence of panhandlers can have a negative effect on

10:22:01 economic development, and I think most importantly how

10:22:05 would you like to see the stakeholders in downtown

10:22:07 Tampa assist with the issue?

10:22:09 And that's the last question.

10:22:11 And it is 48% of those who responded said they want to

10:22:15 advocate for stronger laws against panhandling and

10:22:18 loitering, which is also an issue in downtown.

10:22:20 But 50% of the people, more than advocate against

10:22:25 panhandling, wanted to advocate for initiatives which

10:22:28 will provide assistance to those who are panhandling.

10:22:30 So we have both of those tandem approaches.

10:22:34 And I want you to know that the business community is

10:22:36 here to work with you on that.

10:22:38 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

10:22:38 The other young lady.

10:22:39 I got two minutes left.

10:22:41 Come on up.

10:22:44 They are all young.

10:22:46 [ Laughter ]

10:22:55 Great audience.

10:22:58 >>MARGARET VIZZI: 213 south Sherill and I was hoping I

10:23:02 would be able to get up here because I was here to

10:23:04 represent Tampa homeowners, and the line was so long I

10:23:08 didn't get up and then you announced. Anyway, quickly

10:23:10 on October 13, 2010 when this issue came out, Tampa

10:23:14 homeowners did take a position on this issue, and it

10:23:18 was for a complete ban.

10:23:20 Your ban now, as far as the Sundays, because this just

10:23:24 came out, as to what this workshop.

10:23:27 Of course, we have not had a mechanic.

10:23:28 There was a meeting last week, but that was before we

10:23:31 knew of the discussion.

10:23:33 Sole we don't have a position on the Sunday.

10:23:36 But I will speak now as an individual, and part of

10:23:41 these are the concerns that you have heard about

10:23:45 personal experiences with having someone come from

10:23:48 behind a truck as you start to move, and that is a

10:23:52 scary thing, and I, too, was able to stop and did not

10:23:56 hit the person, but the issue of having spoken

10:24:00 regarding the arms being put in to the cars, I've seen

10:24:06 those.

10:24:07 But the other issue that I would like answered, they

10:24:10 are not only selling newspapers now, but they are

10:24:13 selling water.

10:24:15 What is the next thing that if you allow the newspapers

10:24:18 to be sold, they'll sell water?

10:24:21 What's next?

10:24:23 So I don't know.

10:24:24 But I know that it's a very difficult thing that you

10:24:29 have to look at.

10:24:31 But as far as the cost of doing what is being proposed,

10:24:36 if we don't do it as we said, what will the economic

10:24:40 effect be in and there's no doubt that there will be.

10:24:44 So, council, I'll be praying for you as you deliberate

10:24:51 this and I'm sure that you all will do the right thing.

10:24:53 So thank you.

10:24:55 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

10:24:55 This concludes the portion of the time allotted to us

10:24:59 for public input.

10:25:01 And we go back to the legal department.

10:25:03 If there's any addition or anything you would like to

10:25:05 add, the city attorney, assistant City attorney,

10:25:12 assistant chief of police, you can certainly address us

10:25:14 now.

10:25:16 >>JIM SHIMBERG: We are here to answer questions of

10:25:18 council.

10:25:22 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Mrs. Capin.

10:25:24 >>YVONNE CAPIN: Mr. Shimberg, I would like to hear

10:25:26 about the leaflet with the union that was brought up by

10:25:29 the union gentleman.

10:25:37 >>JIM SHIMBERG: Okay.

10:25:37 When they called originally, they mentioned there was a

10:25:41 federal statute that might allow them to do that, and

10:25:44 at that point we said if there's a federal statute than

10:25:47 that would not be prohibited by our ordinance.

10:25:49 But I'm not sure that there is.

10:25:54 I think if we put this in place, that would also stop

10:25:58 anybody from distributing leaflets in our public

10:26:01 right-of-way.

10:26:01 If they do it on private entry or the entrance to their

10:26:04 facilities, they would still be able to do it, but

10:26:07 not --

10:26:11 >>YVONNE CAPIN: Not on sidewalks?

10:26:13 >>JIM SHIMBERG: Right.

10:26:13 It would be within this ban if we are going to put

10:26:16 something in place that's going to stop street

10:26:19 solicitation in the right-of-way.

10:26:22 >>YVONNE CAPIN: So if we proceed, then we are looking

10:26:24 at a ban on sidewalks, a ban of all solicitation?

10:26:33 >>JIM SHIMBERG: Depending on what action you decide to

10:26:35 take.

10:26:36 >>YVONNE CAPIN: Right.

10:26:40 The ban I'm talking about.

10:26:41 >>REBECCA KERT: Legal department.

10:26:43 Any of the bans that we have been talking about limited

10:26:45 or otherwise only deal with a pedestrian having some

10:26:50 sort of exchange with a motor vehicle, when that motor

10:26:52 vehicle is in a travel lane.

10:26:54 So it is not sidewalk to sidewalk.

10:26:57 Anyone can stand on the sidewalk and hand out

10:27:00 handbills.

10:27:01 That is one of the things than is the cornerstone of

10:27:03 the first amendment.

10:27:04 That's been upheld by the Supreme Court.

10:27:07 But what has not been -- I'm not aware of any case that

10:27:11 says anyone has any sort of Constitutional right to

10:27:15 exchange from a pedestrian -- any sort of exchange with

10:27:18 a handbill, otherwise to a motor vehicle when it is in

10:27:21 the line of traffic.

10:27:22 Now that being said, if there is any sort of federal

10:27:24 law that applies particularly to unions, we will not

10:27:28 violate that law.

10:27:29 We will comply with it regardless of what our own

10:27:31 ordinance says because that would trump our ordinance.

10:27:37 >>YVONNE CAPIN: Therefore, if they are in the sidewalk

10:27:38 and the car is coming out of a driveway of a

10:27:40 construction site that is not a public right-of-way.

10:27:44 Or is it?

10:27:46 >>REBECCA KERT: That would be a factual question.

10:27:48 If it is not in fact on a public right-of-way then

10:27:51 these regulations would not apply.

10:27:53 Once they are on the public street it would.

10:27:56 >>JIM SHIMBERG: I also think it's important to note

10:27:57 that people that are walking, whether through downtown

10:28:00 or other places, if they are asking for assistance,

10:28:02 there's no prohibition on that.

10:28:05 Again we are only talking about the interaction between

10:28:09 an individual and motor vehicle that's in a travel

10:28:11 lane.

10:28:11 >>MIKE SUAREZ: This question is going to be for Mrs.

10:28:16 Kert, Mr. Shimberg.

10:28:19 Based on what you have seen of the Pasco proposed

10:28:22 ordinance, the Sunday exception, and based on your

10:28:24 legal experience and based on what you have seen in

10:28:27 terms of case law, is that going to be -- is that going

10:28:31 to hold water legally?

10:28:33 Or do you think that that will -- and I know I am

10:28:36 asking you for a legal opinion about something that

10:28:38 hasn't happened yet.

10:28:40 A hypothetical, do you think that this is puts someone

10:28:44 on a little shakier ground Constitutionally when comes

10:28:47 to speech on the right-of-way?

10:28:51 >>REBECCA KERT: Legal department.

10:28:53 To me, the Pasco County exception in Pasco County is

10:28:57 legally defensible or not.

10:29:03 -- as it applies to the City of Tampa, what I will say

10:29:05 is you have two ordinances that the Hillsborough County

10:29:07 and the St. Pete model where courts have recognized

10:29:12 that this behavior is inherently unsafe.

10:29:14 And they have recognized that a complete ban has been a

10:29:17 narrowly tailored approach to addressing the issue.

10:29:21 So we felt very comfortable or legally defensible.

10:29:26 Everyone can bring a challenge.

10:29:28 But at this point in time, those have been upheld at

10:29:33 least to a certain extent.

10:29:34 What hasn't been examined through the court system is

10:29:36 the Pasco County model.

10:29:38 That does not mean that that model is not legally

10:29:40 defensible, but that just means that a court is going

10:29:43 to very closely examine whether or not the exception on

10:29:47 Sunday, or part of the day Sunday, is actually based

10:29:52 upon the factual evidence that that in fact is safer

10:29:56 than other times.

10:29:58 Because they are going to want to look at if your

10:30:02 significant interest is public safety and the inherent

10:30:04 danger between pedestrians interacting with motor

10:30:07 vehicles in travel lanes, does your approach really

10:30:11 make sense, and is it really addressed to public

10:30:13 safety?

10:30:14 And that is a question City Council is going to have to

10:30:17 make.

10:30:18 And all I can say is something that a court will

10:30:20 evaluate.

10:30:22 >>MIKE SUAREZ: Then let me follow up with a different

10:30:24 question.

10:30:24 In these Constitutional challenges that come up, in the

10:30:28 case law that you have seen, do they use traffic

10:30:30 patterns?

10:30:31 Do they use -- what kind of data do they use to prove

10:30:37 safe versus unsafe when comes to public safety in.

10:30:40 >>REBECCA KERT: They use different things.

10:30:42 Some jurisdictions have just said it's inherently

10:30:45 unsafe and there's no way to make it safe and courts

10:30:49 have upheld that.

10:30:51 Courts have also recognized there may be certain

10:30:53 locations and certain traffic patterns where the risk

10:30:58 is less.

10:30:59 So what you have to examine is whether or not you have

10:31:00 factual data to support that this is one of those

10:31:03 situations.

10:31:04 >> So there's really no standard in terms of safety

10:31:07 itself, just that when you make that decision it has to

10:31:11 be based on either safe or unsafe conditions.

10:31:14 Correct?

10:31:17 >>JIM SHIMBERG: You have received some evidence from --

10:31:20 that shows that there is less traffic during certain

10:31:23 times of the week.

10:31:23 And so that's an example of the kind of evidence that

10:31:27 you would have to use if you were going to make the

10:31:29 distinction.

10:31:32 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Council member Cowan.

10:31:35 >>MIKE COHEN: Just one follow-up on Councilman Suarez's

10:31:39 question.

10:31:40 When you are examining the data to support a six-day

10:31:47 type proposal, would it not be true that the more

10:31:53 specific the data gets regarding the condition of

10:32:00 traffic patterns on the weekend -- on Sundays, the more

10:32:04 strongly it would tend to go to support the exemption?

10:32:09 And I guess what I am going towards here is that if you

10:32:14 have specific data that showed, for example, that there

10:32:16 was significantly less traffic on Sunday mornings, and

10:32:20 that there was significantly less traffic accidents on

10:32:23 Sunday mornings, wouldn't that go to bolstering the

10:32:28 case for the Sunday exemption?

10:32:36 Him shim yes.

10:32:37 That would.

10:32:38 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Any council member who has not

10:32:39 spoken so I can go to round two that would care to

10:32:42 speak?

10:32:44 Mrs. Montelione?

10:32:45 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

10:32:50 The concern that I have, I think, is what Mr. Cohen was

10:32:52 maybe getting at, is if we do move forward with a

10:32:57 six-day ban, how defensible would that be in because

10:33:06 although traffic is lower overall perhaps in the city,

10:33:13 it may be increased on certain roads within the city.

10:33:18 For instance, a road in front of a church, someone

10:33:20 mentioned St. James united Methodist church on Cross

10:33:24 Creek.

10:33:25 There may be increased traffic on Cross Creek or

10:33:27 another road that would have activity centers that are

10:33:34 busier on a Sunday than they are during the rest of the

10:33:37 week.

10:33:37 So that's my concern with a six-day ban is the

10:33:43 defensibility.

10:33:43 And I think that's what you were getting at.

10:33:45 >> Once council makes a decision the way you would like

10:33:54 to proceed -- and again this is a workshop, and if you

10:33:57 decide to go forward you will be getting direction,

10:34:00 draft an ordinance for consideration and public

10:34:02 hearing.

10:34:02 But finance you do pass an ordinance, and if someone

10:34:05 decides to challenge it, they would look at the basis

10:34:09 for your decision, and more specific the evidence is

10:34:15 that you have, consider it, and again, it's hard for us

10:34:19 to speculate on what could happen if someone

10:34:21 challenges.

10:34:23 Again, the more specific evidence you have to help you

10:34:26 reach your decision is going to make it easier for us

10:34:29 to defend.

10:34:30 For example, I think in the Pasco example, they put a

10:34:36 provision in there that basically what they said was, I

10:34:39 think, we are going to put a complete ban in place.

10:34:42 However, we are going to make an exception for Sundays.

10:34:46 And then they said if that were to be challenged, that

10:34:50 would be basically severed from the rest of the

10:34:52 ordinance, and would also advise either put a full

10:34:59 seven-day ban in place, or if that was challenged.

10:35:03 So again, you have to look at what you put in place,

10:35:05 and then what potentially could be challenged.

10:35:08 And it's really kind of hard for us to answer a

10:35:11 question like that.

10:35:15 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Mr. Reddick?

10:35:17 >>FRANK REDDICK: Thank you.

10:35:18 I don't have a question for the attorney.

10:35:20 I do have a few comments I would like to make.

10:35:26 And I want to state very clearly that I do not support

10:35:32 a six-day ban at all.

10:35:37 And what I also want to state very clearly that last

10:35:41 week, over 400,000 people nationally apply for

10:35:50 unemployment compensation.

10:35:52 Florida has 10.8% unemployment rate.

10:36:01 We also have the state's highest home foreclosure rate.

10:36:08 And in a month or two from now, this city will be

10:36:14 laying off city employees.

10:36:21 Hillsborough County government will be play laying off

10:36:24 employees.

10:36:26 Some of these people are living from check to check.

10:36:36 And we are sitting here wanting to deny individuals to

10:36:45 earn a few dollars to feed their family or put food on

10:36:48 the table.

10:36:50 We can sit here in judgment, and also not worry about

10:36:56 where we are going to get our meal from, not worry

10:37:00 about the automobile that we drive, and not worry about

10:37:04 the home that we go to every night.

10:37:09 The thing that's appalling to me about this whole

10:37:12 issue, and that is it's 95-degree heat out there in the

10:37:21 City of Tampa every day.

10:37:25 These people are standing out there in 95-degree heat,

10:37:29 not because they want to.

10:37:31 And when we talk about this as a public safety issue, I

10:37:38 can tell you what a public safety issue is.

10:37:41 A public safety issue is when I travel throughout this

10:37:44 city and particularly my district and see all those

10:37:48 abandoned homes boarded up with vagrants, prostitutes,

10:37:55 drug addicts, that are living in these vacant homes.

10:38:03 And you have to say to yourself, who in the hell want

10:38:05 to live there next door to these homes?

10:38:08 That's a public safety issue.

10:38:12 So when we make these judgments of what we want to do

10:38:17 here, we need to take into consideration, yes, it's

10:38:24 about the issue, and some of these people are not all

10:38:28 legitimate, but we also need to take that these people,

10:38:38 some of them, do not want to be out there.

10:38:49 And we might see some city employees, when they get

10:38:54 laid off, standing on some street corner selling a

10:38:58 bottle of water.

10:39:00 And if you do, I hope you will have the courage to wind

10:39:06 your window down and give them a dollar for that bottle

10:39:09 of water, because the decision we make, when we deal

10:39:12 with the budget, could affect those same individuals.

10:39:17 So when we make the decision about banning -- and

10:39:20 finally, Mr. Chairman, let me just say this.

10:39:23 I think it's a selfish move by the Tribune and

10:39:26 "St. Pete Times," because they can stand there and say

10:39:32 they can support a six-day ban, but they cannot support

10:39:39 an African-American newspaper that publishes on Tuesday

10:39:45 and Friday.

10:39:49 Summer school is out.

10:39:50 You have got young African-American kids and living in

10:39:55 some of the highest crime rate neighborhoods will be

10:39:58 out there selling these papers on Tuesday and Friday

10:40:06 earning a living, avoid trying to rob your home, my

10:40:10 home, or making themselves a part of the crime

10:40:14 statistics for law enforcement.

10:40:18 And you want to deny them that opportunity because you

10:40:20 want to ban them six days a week, which you are not

10:40:27 taking into consideration that this paper around a --

10:40:30 paper a has been around for over sixty-some years.

10:40:35 The publisher was here.

10:40:36 If you want to put a ban in place for six days you have

10:40:39 to give consideration to the Florida Sentinel Bulletin.

10:40:42 And I would not support any ordinance or any ban that

10:40:47 does not include the Florida Sentinel Bulletin as a

10:40:50 part of this ordinance.

10:40:53 And as the publisher stated here this morning, you all

10:40:59 came before the editorial board, the majority of you,

10:41:01 and you stated your position.

10:41:04 Now you need to state your position and keep understood

10:41:09 consideration when you make your choice.

10:41:10 Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

10:41:13 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you.

10:41:15 I don't allow clapping or standing up.

10:41:18 Please address yourself accordingly.

10:41:20 >>MARY MULHERN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

10:41:23 Thank you, Councilman Reddick, for leaving me

10:41:25 speechless.

10:41:29 I guess that will never happen.

10:41:30 I was actually praying for laryngitis last night for

10:41:35 all of us.

10:41:36 But apparently these important issues are going to

10:41:41 continue to come back to the City of Tampa, Tampa City

10:41:44 Council.

10:41:44 So I have a couple of things.

10:41:49 Would it be all right if I ask questions?

10:41:52 I believe Ms. Andrews is still here from the sentinel?

10:41:57 She left.

10:41:58 Okay.

10:41:58 So I'll say what the question is.

10:42:02 And not so much for an answer unless maybe somebody

10:42:06 from legal has.

10:42:09 But I agree with Mr. Reddick, and actually in the last

10:42:12 council, Councilman Scott and I had supported trying

10:42:18 to -- in order for one thing to allow the sentinel to

10:42:23 continue their major circulation is through sales on

10:42:27 the street, and we were trying to help that, so we

10:42:30 tried to do something which would allow sales on those

10:42:34 roads where they were doing it, and that didn't get any

10:42:38 support and didn't pass.

10:42:39 So that went away.

10:42:40 But I do believe that their sales are important and I

10:42:54 did want to ask him Mrs. Andrews how many they employ,

10:42:57 it's probably a lot, probably close to what the dailies

10:43:00 do, too.

10:43:01 So I think all this discussion about how we can save

10:43:03 these jobs and allow this kind of speech to continue

10:43:09 does not address one of the three or four major

10:43:14 newspapers.

10:43:14 So I think that's a problem, and we need to look at

10:43:17 that.

10:43:28 I do have a question for Ms. Kert who has become a bit

10:43:31 of an expert on the ordinances.

10:43:33 One of the points you talked about was it being

10:43:36 narrowly tailored and there being factual evidence.

10:43:39 And one of the things you talked about under than, I

10:43:41 believe, was alternative avenues.

10:43:46 And when you talked about leaving alternative avenues,

10:43:50 that was for -- was that specific in those legal

10:43:55 decisions toward now sales?

10:43:59 Or was that for any kind of --

10:44:01 >>REBECCA KERT: Legal department.

10:44:03 The leaving open alternative channels of communication

10:44:05 is not narrowly tailored.

10:44:09 It applies to any regulation that is going to be in

10:44:13 your public forum.

10:44:14 That would be your parks.

10:44:15 That would be your --

10:44:19 >>MARY MULHERN: There were literally other alternative

10:44:21 places for speech to take place?

10:44:24 Is that what it is?

10:44:25 >>REBECCA KERT: Yes.

10:44:26 Exactly.

10:44:27 For example, if you were to -- I for example, if you

10:44:34 were to try to ban all of panhandling within the City

10:44:38 of Tampa, the courts, at least in our federal

10:44:41 circuit -- circuit, have said that's not Constitutional

10:44:44 because these people have no other place to go and that

10:44:46 is legitimate form of speech.

10:44:48 They have upheld very narrow areas for very specific

10:44:51 reasons.

10:44:52 For example, in New York subways it's been upheld.

10:44:55 Some very limited areas it has.

10:44:57 But to totally ban an entire method of speech

10:45:00 throughout the city, you haven't left any alternative.

10:45:03 If we were to ban all hand billing on all public

10:45:06 property, that again oh would not leave us alternative

10:45:10 Avenue locations.

10:45:12 >> I would like to ask, I believe, Sarah Romeo, since

10:45:16 she's a person who talked about a couple questions for

10:45:22 you, because I think what's clear, what we don't have,

10:45:27 but I believe we have talked about it at our last

10:45:30 workshop and at some of other meetings where we talked

10:45:33 about panhandling, that there is no absolute analysis,

10:45:41 democratic -- or demographic analysis of who are the

10:45:46 people who are panhandling?

10:45:48 But we do know that, yes, some of them are criminals,

10:45:53 some of them have drug addictions, some of them are

10:45:57 homeless, some are not.

10:45:59 So if you feel like you have a breakdown of that, and

10:46:03 then if you could tell us what kind of man -- because

10:46:09 we don't just need alternatives for speech.

10:46:11 We need alternatives for people who are so desperate

10:46:15 that they are begging on major roadways.

10:46:17 And if you could give us some ideas about what we could

10:46:20 do to start to fix that problem.

10:46:22 >>> We do know in the last time approximately 17,775

10:46:32 homeless individuals are panhandling to make a living.

10:46:38 There was no demographics or data gathered as to their

10:46:41 impairment for drugs or alcohol, maybe mental illness.

10:46:45 But in the typical homeless population we know that a

10:46:47 very high incidence of the homeless are mentally ill,

10:46:51 or suffering from co-occurring which is a mental

10:46:54 illness and substance abuse problem at the same time.

10:46:58 We know that one of the largest segments of the

10:47:00 homeless population or growing in our community are

10:47:06 women and children.

10:47:08 My program specifically deals with homeless women in

10:47:12 all three areas.

10:47:13 One of course are homeless female veterans.

10:47:17 The real issue here is we have talked a lot about what

10:47:23 to ban, when to ban, who to ban, and hop this would

10:47:27 affect.

10:47:27 It does affect the most downtrodden people in our

10:47:31 community currently, because these are people who do

10:47:35 try to make a living even if they are selling

10:47:38 newspapers, they are making 25, $30 a day when they are

10:47:41 on the streets.

10:47:42 Many, many times they tell us what they are trying to

10:47:44 do get enough money just to get a motel room for that

10:47:47 night.

10:47:48 That's what they are trying to do.

10:47:50 We see people on the streets now that I actually have

10:47:54 made a practice of over the last few month of stopping

10:47:56 and talking to them and asking why they are there and

10:47:59 what they are doing, because it is very distressing to

10:48:04 me to see in our community that we are not treating

10:48:08 these people with respect.

10:48:09 We do know that the majority of the homeless people in

10:48:12 our community over 80% are people who have worked here,

10:48:16 lived here.

10:48:17 They didn't come here because we have a lot of

10:48:20 sunshine, and as one of the people said earlier, they

10:48:22 are not panhandling in 95-degree heat because they want

10:48:25 to.

10:48:26 They didn't grow up to make this their career.

10:48:28 They are desperate people.

10:48:30 What we really need is an alternative here just like

10:48:33 they have in St. Petersburg.

10:48:35 The model program that I have seen or heard about

10:48:37 anywhere in our country is the Safe Harbor program.

10:48:42 They will take people there 24 hours a day.

10:48:46 They will intake.

10:48:47 It is an old bus depot building.

10:48:50 Myself and a couple other people, Maria and Dr. Jason

10:48:54 Wilson have been very, very -- spent a lot of time

10:48:59 trying to find a building to bring to you and say this

10:49:01 is what we need.

10:49:02 We are trying to wrap a price tag around this.

10:49:05 There are a lot of people in the community here who

10:49:08 assist homeless people, Salvation Army, Metropolitan

10:49:11 Ministries, we have the homeless coalition which is the

10:49:14 umbrella for all the organizations that serve them.

10:49:16 But we do not have the capacity in our community

10:49:20 currently to deal with the high numbers of homeless we

10:49:22 have.

10:49:23 There's 17,775 counted homeless people in our community

10:49:28 in February with 1500 shelter beds.

10:49:32 So you can see the numbers -- my programs are at

10:49:36 capacity.

10:49:37 Metropolitan Ministries is at capacity.

10:49:39 Salvation Army is at capacity.

10:49:40 Mental health care is at capacity.

10:49:42 We need another resource.

10:49:46 Not to be rude or to fault anyone in the city, but you

10:49:48 have done also or nothing to assist the homeless

10:49:51 population and the growing numbers of people in need in

10:49:54 our community.

10:49:55 And I don't mean by passing a law to tell them then

10:49:59 can't be on the street anymore.

10:50:00 I mean, we have not had any public comment or discourse

10:50:05 or any true conversation of what are we going to do

10:50:12 when we pass this law?

10:50:13 How are we going to deal with these people?

10:50:15 I was giving you some numbers earlier to arrest and

10:50:20 violate 30 panhandlers a month, just 30 out of the over

10:50:24 1200 who are out there would result in $112,000 bill to

10:50:28 the city.

10:50:29 To take those same 30 people and divert them into a

10:50:32 shelter would cost $22,000.

10:50:36 So the savings of having a shelter or place to take

10:50:38 them is over $90,000 just on 30 people.

10:50:42 The numbers multiply and get much greater as we move

10:50:46 toward a more aggressive arrest record.

10:50:49 What we need is a shelter.

10:50:51 And we have people in this community who are working

10:50:55 overtime as volunteers.

10:50:56 No one is getting paid for this, to try to locate a

10:50:59 place that we could come to you with to say this is

10:51:01 where we want to develop, this is what it's going to

10:51:03 cost.

10:51:04 There are federal dollars that we could bring into this

10:51:06 community if we could show that we are assisting an

10:51:09 very, very at-risk population.

10:51:12 And that's what we would like to do.

10:51:18 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

10:51:19 Ms. Capin, and then Mr. Cohen and then Mrs. Montelione.

10:51:23 >>YVONNE CAPIN: Mrs. Romeo, stay, please.

10:51:28 First of all, I am going to say this.

10:51:30 On February 3rd, I have been here a year in July,

10:51:34 and this is the fourth, um, solicitation.

10:51:42 We have had two workshops.

10:51:45 But on February 3rd, I asked and did not receive a

10:51:52 second, that because the data was a year and a half old

10:51:55 from Mrs. Dorzback -- and I'm sorry but I have a

10:51:57 question for you after -- that in fact there is a

10:52:02 factual predicate for weekend, and from banning on

10:52:05 weekends.

10:52:06 I would like to know if council would -- and I'm

10:52:09 reading from the minutes -- I would like to know if

10:52:13 council would entertain that in order to get the

10:52:16 empirical evidence to support that we are proposing

10:52:21 today, I have not seen the evidence that is factual

10:52:26 predicate for weekend.

10:52:28 I would like to ask council if they would entertain a

10:52:30 study.

10:52:33 It was not seconded.

10:52:34 Now we are looking at a study.

10:52:36 Have we done this on February 3rd, and I also made

10:52:40 a motion to possible ban of a five-day, two-day back in

10:52:47 February 24th.

10:52:48 That did not get a second.

10:52:50 With a six-month sunset to study if it was working or

10:52:53 not.

10:52:54 We would be eight weeks away or six weeks away from

10:52:58 that sunset.

10:52:59 Instead queer here at the beginning again.

10:53:02 I just want to say that as far as compromise, as far as

10:53:05 this issue, I have been there.

10:53:08 Now, when we look at St. Petersburg -- and this is --

10:53:15 Ms. Romeo, St. Petersburg, we could learn from that,

10:53:20 and we should learn from that.

10:53:21 That came about after their total ban.

10:53:28 Because of the cost of arresting and incarcerating the

10:53:31 people, that they have passed a law and an ordinance,

10:53:37 they have to find a place away -- a way of cutting the

10:53:41 cost on the arrests.

10:53:44 We have not gone that next step.

10:53:46 We have not even looked at that.

10:53:49 That was my purpose of a six-month sunset was so that

10:53:54 we could actually look at numbers and say -- and not

10:53:59 forget about we are -- this is a statistic that came

10:54:03 last week -- we are 5% of the state's population in

10:54:07 Hillsborough County and we have 16% of the homeless in

10:54:10 the state.

10:54:16 This is a symptom of the illness.

10:54:19 And the illness is unemployment and a lot of poor

10:54:23 people.

10:54:27 If we are looking at safety I'm looking at the

10:54:37 statistics of the bicycle defendants in the area.

10:54:39 We should ban cars.

10:54:43 If we were looking at this issue.

10:54:46 You know, I want to be able -- and I think that

10:54:51 St. Petersburg is an example.

10:55:05 I believe it is a course to ban, and they have to find

10:55:09 a way to house these people other than arresting them

10:55:11 because they did not go away.

10:55:12 >>> My experience -- and I do run a homeless program in

10:55:22 St. Petersburg been there for 22 years for adult men

10:55:24 and women.

10:55:24 My experience within the city of St. Petersburg is that

10:55:26 they have been much more proactive and aggressive in

10:55:29 how to deal with their homeless population.

10:55:34 Prayer to Safe Harbor opened they opened hope.

10:55:39 And they had a makeshift camp which many of you recall

10:55:42 was raided one evening and tents were cut open and

10:55:46 people chased out causing a furor nationally.

10:55:51 I think St. Petersburg was known as the meanest city in

10:55:53 the United States for their actions against homeless.

10:55:55 What we really have to look at, Councilman Capin, is

10:56:00 that people do not choose to be homeless.

10:56:03 They are caught in a very downward spiral because of

10:56:06 many, many situations, conditions personally.

10:56:11 There are profiles on homeless and what creates that

10:56:13 homelessness, and that would take another workshop

10:56:16 meeting to discuss.

10:56:18 But many times, Councilman Reddick pointed out dab that

10:56:22 we are really affecting the most down oh trodden, the

10:56:28 poorest, the people who are really hanging from

10:56:30 paycheck to paycheck by this ordinance.

10:56:34 We are not really affecting how people sell newspapers

10:56:38 or how many days to ban.

10:56:40 What we are looking at is the ultimate goal of this

10:56:42 community should be -- how we are going to deal with so

10:56:45 many people who need our help.

10:56:47 These are people who have worked here in this community

10:56:49 for many years who rent apartments, who own homes, who

10:56:52 pay taxes, and who are good neighbors, who are now

10:56:56 desperate, who are now trying to protect their

10:56:58 children.

10:56:58 We have the highest homeless rate of children in the

10:57:03 public school of any county in the State of Florida

10:57:04 currently.

10:57:05 We have more homeless children in our public school

10:57:08 than any other county in the State of Florida.

10:57:10 So we can sit here and talk about how the ban affect

10:57:14 sales of newspapers.

10:57:15 We can talk about how it's going to affect the safety.

10:57:17 And again, there is no evidence to really prove that

10:57:22 there is a safety issue.

10:57:23 But ultimately for me and for many people that work in

10:57:27 the field that I am in, what are we really going to do

10:57:29 about 17,775 people in our community who are homeless

10:57:34 and living on the streets, hand to mouth today?

10:57:37 That's the issue for me.

10:57:40 >>YVONNE CAPIN: Thank you.

10:57:40 I have a question for legal.

10:57:50 We are looking at this, and through safety only, it

10:57:56 cannot be about jobs, it cannot be -- is that correct?

10:57:59 Am I following this correctly?

10:58:01 It cannot be about image.

10:58:03 It has to be about safety.

10:58:05 Or --

10:58:10 >>JIM SHIMBERG: That's correct, a specific thing that

10:58:13 you are trying to regulate.

10:58:14 Public safety which has been the predominant issue.

10:58:18 >>YVONNE CAPIN: And people in the median, with traffic,

10:58:25 most of the people are at traffic lights, at traffic

10:58:31 intersections, which have stop-and-go for the traffic

10:58:38 is for the most part stopped.

10:58:39 But we don't have any numbers on that.

10:58:42 For instance, when the map was put up. There were

10:58:45 certain intersections that were a lot -- there were a

10:58:48 lot of calls.

10:58:50 And geographic.

10:58:53 Is this something that's geographic as opposed to the

10:58:56 entire city where you have more situations?

10:59:09 >>> That's really in essence what we were trying to

10:59:12 show. You have to show the maps of the whole city but

10:59:16 New Tampa to the north, and then as you move south,

10:59:19 here in the USF area down to Busch Boulevard and

10:59:21 Fowler, as you work your way down Hillsborough, the

10:59:25 idea of the map is to show that why while there is

10:59:29 denser areas in the city, it seems to follow the major

10:59:31 arterials, but it is city-wide, as I slide it all the

10:59:37 way down to the peninsula north of MacDill.

10:59:43 The sprawl and density, I think, covers pretty well the

10:59:46 entire city.

10:59:52 >>YVONNE CAPIN: Thank you.

10:59:52 That is all.

10:59:54 >>MIKE COHEN: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

10:59:58 I think anyone listening to this conversation can tell

11:00:01 that this is a very difficult issue, because there are

11:00:05 significant -- there are multiple issues that are

11:00:09 colliding with one another here, and I think it's

11:00:12 important that we separate out some of these issues

11:00:15 from one another so that we can begin to deal with each

11:00:17 of them individually.

11:00:19 And I am going to specifically respond to a couple of

11:00:24 things that Mr. Reddick said, because I happen to agree

11:00:26 with him, and I want to sort of extrapolate from there

11:00:31 on a couple of things.

11:00:33 The first is that the homeless problem and panhandling

11:00:44 problem are not the same.

11:00:45 They are separate.

11:00:45 And there was a census done recently of the homeless

11:00:48 population in Hillsborough County that showed that only

11:00:52 between 5 and 7% answered that panhandling was a way

11:00:59 that they actually earned money.

11:01:05 There is no question that we have a burgeoning homeless

11:01:09 problem in this community that needs to be dealt with,

11:01:11 but really it's a separate question of whether or not

11:01:14 people ought to be entering into lanes of traffic and

11:01:17 using medians as a means to either express themselves

11:01:24 or ask for money or ask for anything, for ma matter.

11:01:32 One of reasons that we are in this situation today is

11:01:34 because all of the jurisdictions surrounding us have

11:01:38 passed ordinances restricting or eliminating

11:01:41 panhandling.

11:01:43 Has driven people into our community that really more

11:01:48 than anything else, because we have been benevolent and

11:01:51 we have been -- we have not wanted to impose

11:01:55 restrictions on people that we know or down on their

11:01:58 luck and having a difficult time making it in society.

11:02:02 The problem is that as the other jurisdictions act one

11:02:05 by one, things become worse and worse and worse here on

11:02:09 our roadways, and citizens become more and more

11:02:12 agitated about this issue.

11:02:15 It's not a coincidence that the Westshore Alliance, the

11:02:18 downtown partnership and the Utah of south Florida all

11:02:22 came here today to ask us to do something.

11:02:25 They are concerned.

11:02:26 They are concerned because they see getting worse.

11:02:28 The police are concerned because they see getting

11:02:30 worse.

11:02:32 We are balancing that against all of our wish not to

11:02:36 further compound the unemployment problem by putting

11:02:40 legitimate vendors out of business.

11:02:42 And we are constrained in our ability to do that

11:02:45 because we have a Constitutional deference for free

11:02:50 speech in this country that's very, very high, and it's

11:02:53 very, very precious to us, and it goes back to very,

11:02:56 very beginning of our society.

11:02:59 But I do think that there may be another way that we

11:03:02 can look at this.

11:03:04 I know that a six-day ban is something that we have

11:03:06 talked a lot about.

11:03:07 I think it's something that we want to explore with the

11:03:11 city attorney going toward this New Port Richey/Pasco

11:03:14 County approach.

11:03:15 But there is another approach, too, and it may take

11:03:18 into account some of the concerns that Mr. Reddick

11:03:20 raised, and that's why I want to raise it here today.

11:03:24 It is something that it has been tried in a slightly

11:03:26 different form in Jacksonville.

11:03:32 To my knowledge it has not been challenged so it's not

11:03:34 possible to know how it wind its way through the legal

11:03:37 system.

11:03:38 But what it would be is basically this.

11:03:43 We could repeal the ordinance that we have on the books

11:03:46 and default into Hillsborough County's seven-day ban.

11:03:50 And then we could pass a second ordinance specifically

11:03:53 exempting newspapers, all newspapers, all the time.

11:03:57 And here is the rationale for this approach.

11:04:02 There is a great deference in our Constitutional

11:04:04 jurisprudence to freedom of speech.

11:04:07 But there is another value that is very, very high that

11:04:09 goes way back to the beginning of the founding of this

11:04:12 country, and that's something called the government's

11:04:15 interest in a free marketplace of ideas.

11:04:17 The idea that a government has a really vested interest

11:04:24 in making sure that there is a robust dialogue going on

11:04:28 in the community where different voice are being heard.

11:04:32 And I don't think it would be totally beyond the bounds

11:04:36 to look into whether or not, understood that type of

11:04:39 predicate, we could make an exception for all

11:04:43 newspapers.

11:04:44 Our newspapers are in crisis.

11:04:46 The big ones and the small ones.

11:04:48 They are laying off employees.

11:04:50 They are having difficulty publishing.

11:04:51 And if they go out of business, it's going to be a

11:04:54 terrible thing for the democratic dialogue in this

11:04:59 community and we have an interest in making sure that

11:05:01 they continue to exist and continue to print.

11:05:04 So while I would be in support of a six-day ban, on the

11:05:09 public safety grounds, I would also be in support of

11:05:12 looking at it through a different prism.

11:05:14 And one of my hopes of coming out of today's workshop

11:05:17 is that we might be able to have the legal department

11:05:21 look at a couple of different alternative approaches as

11:05:26 we go about crafting an ordinance.

11:05:29 I also just want to make a general statement to the

11:05:32 comments that were made about the state of the economy

11:05:35 driving this problem.

11:05:39 There's no question that the state of the economy is

11:05:42 driving this problem.

11:05:44 But making the business climate continue to deteriorate

11:05:48 because of the perception that things are out of

11:05:50 control on our streets is not going to help bring jobs

11:05:54 back to this community and give these small businesses

11:05:58 the type of environment they are looking for in which

11:06:00 to conduct their business.

11:06:02 And as we weigh owl of these different concerns, seems

11:06:07 to me that that we need to separate out the issues and

11:06:12 try to address them each individually nap comprehensive

11:06:18 way.

11:06:19 Thank you.

11:06:21 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you.

11:06:22 Ms. Montelione.

11:06:22 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Well, Mr. Cohen, as Mr. Reddick did

11:06:26 with Councilwoman Mulhern, you said that very

11:06:31 eloquently.

11:06:35 Thank you.

11:06:36 And I also want to address some of the things that

11:06:38 Councilman Reddick brought up.

11:06:43 And that is, one of things that you mentioned was that

11:06:48 we can all sit up here and be comfortable, and we don't

11:06:51 have to worry about our homes and our jobs.

11:06:53 Our jobs, we don't have to worry about for another

11:06:56 three years.

11:06:57 But I for one am in the construction business and have

11:07:00 been in real estate construction most of my life.

11:07:03 I have worked three jobs at times to raise my son,

11:07:07 attend school, and make sure that we had a roof over

11:07:12 our head, and we came very close to losing it on more

11:07:14 than one occasion.

11:07:15 I have personally housed some of our construction

11:07:19 workers that have been laid off, by my own company, my

11:07:24 fiancée's company, in my home with his three children

11:07:27 and his pit bull, because they had nowhere else to go.

11:07:31 And I refused to see that this young man take his

11:07:36 daughter to a hotel that you pay for by the hour

11:07:41 because it was the only other way he had to keep a roof

11:07:44 over their head.

11:07:45 So he, his three children and his dog, moved into my

11:07:48 house.

11:07:52 I have dealt with homelessness on a first-hand basis.

11:07:58 And this issue is very close to my heart.

11:08:01 I have worked with the homeless population.

11:08:06 I was part of the count with Tampa crossroads.

11:08:10 I have supported the homeless coalition.

11:08:14 And I am not callous to the reason that -- to the idea

11:08:23 that children do not grow up looking forward to a life

11:08:26 of begging on the streets, for a place to stay, or food

11:08:31 in their mouth.

11:08:34 I do want to say that, to address newspapers, I have

11:08:38 purchased the Florida Sentinel Bulletin on Tuesdays and

11:08:41 Fridays.

11:08:42 I have pulled over to the side of the road where there

11:08:44 is usually plenty of parking.

11:08:47 And I have purchased my paper from a parked vehicle or

11:08:51 by getting out of my car.

11:08:53 We live in a driver-through society.

11:08:55 We drive through drycleaners.

11:08:58 We drive through food.

11:09:00 We drive through many things, and we have become

11:09:04 accustomed to convenience.

11:09:07 Where I grew up in New York, there people didn't want

11:09:11 to get out of their car to go into a drugstore or photo

11:09:15 developing establishment to get their pictures

11:09:17 developed.

11:09:18 So there were kiosks in parking lots where you could

11:09:22 drive up, hand somebody your canister of film, fill out

11:09:25 a little slip like you do at the dry cleaner and come

11:09:28 back the next day and pick up your photographs.

11:09:33 Newspapers are struggling, and Mr. Cohen, I couldn't

11:09:37 have said it any better.

11:09:39 I do believe in free speech and the exchange of ideas.

11:09:42 And I feel that newspaper sales are very important.

11:09:47 But there are other ways other than in the middle of

11:09:49 the street, in a median that is 15 inches wide, to sell

11:09:53 newspapers.

11:09:56 I do want to explore other ideas and ways that the City

11:10:00 of Tampa can contribute to the overall problem of

11:10:03 homelessness and social service needs.

11:10:06 We are not in the social service business.

11:10:10 Social services is provided by the state and by

11:10:12 Hillsborough County, but we contribute to those

11:10:16 efforts.

11:10:17 And I would like to see us do more in that way.

11:10:20 The statistics that people have referred to, 17,755

11:10:29 men, women and children homeless in Pinellas County on

11:10:32 any given night because expanded the definition of

11:10:34 homelessness.

11:10:37 We are trying to include people not just sleeping on

11:10:39 the streets but people who don't have any other place

11:10:41 to go like the worker that I housed in my home.

11:10:45 Whether they are doubling up or whether they are

11:10:47 spending the night in a motel.

11:10:50 65% responded that they have some source of income, and

11:10:55 of those, the five highest reported income were SSI,

11:11:00 Social Security income, or Social Security disability

11:11:03 income, unemployment.

11:11:06 17% of people who sleep on the streets or are

11:11:10 considered homeless are employed.

11:11:13 That speaks to another problem that we have that we

11:11:17 have people working in jobs that don't pay a

11:11:19 sustainable wage.

11:11:22 11% temporary financial assistance for family, 8%

11:11:26 receiving unemployment compensation, and 7% receiving

11:11:31 funds from panhandling.

11:11:32 So panhandling is not necessarily our overarching

11:11:38 issue.

11:11:39 Again, we have in other ways, many of us have all said,

11:11:42 it is a larger issue.

11:11:47 I would support the compromise that Mr. Cohen --

11:11:52 councilman Cohen mentioned.

11:11:55 I would support a six-day ban.

11:11:57 I personally one support a seven-day ban and a repeal

11:12:03 of our ordinance to be consistent with Hillsborough

11:12:04 County.

11:12:05 Because having a ban would drive individuals into the

11:12:11 programs that they need and not have them begging on

11:12:15 the streets for money.

11:12:19 I would like to see increase in funding for the

11:12:23 homeless coalition.

11:12:26 Currently, from my understanding, we provide $75,000 to

11:12:30 the homeless coalition.

11:12:34 25 of that comes from CDBG fund and 55 of that comes

11:12:38 from our general revenue dollars.

11:12:42 The 757,000 total that we are contributing to the

11:12:46 homeless coalition is less than the 90,000 number that

11:12:49 has been quoted bizarre rah Romeo of Tampa crossroads.

11:12:53 So we are spending less on providing homeless services

11:12:57 than we are looking forward to spending to arrest

11:13:01 people.

11:13:02 But it is a safety issue.

11:13:04 And it is also a safety issue in my mind.

11:13:08 I live near Busch Gardens.

11:13:09 I see homeless people every day on Busch and 30th

11:13:13 street, on Busch and 40th Street, on Fowler and

11:13:17 Fletcher.

11:13:18 I have never been accosted.

11:13:21 The gentleman says good morning, ma'am, to me every

11:13:23 day.

11:13:24 He doesn't know who I am.

11:13:25 He doesn't know that I hold his way of living in my

11:13:27 hands today along with my other council members.

11:13:32 And I will close with this.

11:13:36 I do want to see us come out of here with creative ways

11:13:40 to fund homeless services.

11:13:43 I think that we can use some NSP-2 money to offer NSP

11:13:48 for housing, individuals in need of rapid rehouse ugh.

11:13:51 We can write that into an RFP and we could supply money

11:13:55 from the NSP dollars, not necessarily impacting in a

11:13:59 tremendous way our city budget.

11:14:04 I would like to ask that we identify some opportunities

11:14:07 in our budget for increasing that money we provide to

11:14:11 the homeless coalition in addition to what might be

11:14:13 spent in increased police services or jail time for

11:14:18 individuals.

11:14:20 Because it would be a lot more expensive to arrest and

11:14:24 house people in jail rather than house people in

11:14:26 programs where they might get the services they need.

11:14:29 And we do have a lot of returning military that really

11:14:35 need increased services.

11:14:36 They need job services.

11:14:38 They need job training.

11:14:39 They need food assistance.

11:14:41 They need medical assistance.

11:14:42 They need mental health counseling.

11:14:45 And I think that's the direction we need to go.

11:14:47 I think that this is a more complex issue than just

11:14:52 panhandling.

11:14:53 Thank you for allowing me.

11:14:56 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

11:14:57 Mr. Suarez.

11:14:57 >>MIKE SUAREZ: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

11:15:00 First of all, I would like to thank Councilman Cohen

11:15:03 for coming up with this workshop.

11:15:06 I think it's a great idea.

11:15:07 It something that we all heard about when we were

11:15:10 running.

11:15:11 One of the things that I would tell people when I was

11:15:13 running for office was that nothing that I do either

11:15:16 for or against a ban on panhandling is going to solve

11:15:20 the problem of homelessness.

11:15:22 I think we all know that.

11:15:23 I think we all share that.

11:15:25 I appreciate the fact that so many people came here

11:15:27 today to talk about this issue.

11:15:30 But it's a systemic issue.

11:15:32 It's a problem that comes from society and not from

11:15:37 necessarily individuals.

11:15:38 Some of it is.

11:15:39 But most of it is from the state of the economy, as we

11:15:42 have heard so eloquently from other people today.

11:15:46 Unfortunately, this board and this city is not the

11:15:50 place in which we can solve the problems of

11:15:52 homelessness.

11:15:54 I appreciate the fact that Sarah Romeo is here from

11:15:56 crossroads, some of the other folks from social service

11:15:59 agencies, but I'm very disappointed that there weren't

11:16:01 more people from other charitable organizations that do

11:16:04 provide help to the homeless were here to talk about

11:16:08 how we can try to solve this problem.

11:16:10 I do believe that it is a shelter issue.

11:16:14 Sarah and I talked about this before.

11:16:16 The cost for shelter from Salvation Army side, and

11:16:19 where and how they release folks in the mornings, is a

11:16:23 big issue.

11:16:24 But it is an issue that has to be solved from social

11:16:27 service analysis, and from other agencies that are

11:16:30 specifically designated to solve this problem.

11:16:32 The city is not the place that is meant to solve this

11:16:37 particular issue.

11:16:39 A couple other issues.

11:16:41 Federal agencies are cutting back on moneys.

11:16:44 State agencies are cutting back on moneys provided to

11:16:46 the homeless.

11:16:47 We need to do more than try to help out folks.

11:16:50 But, at the same time, our city budget is shrinking.

11:16:53 Mr. Reddick pointed out earlier that we may and

11:16:57 probably will be laying off folks.

11:17:00 And we don't want ton see people out on the street that

11:17:02 have been employees of the city previously.

11:17:06 But that may happen.

11:17:08 Again, it is not the city's place in order to provide a

11:17:12 lot of these services.

11:17:13 I do like some of the individual ways that Mrs.

11:17:16 Montelione has brought up in terms of what we may be

11:17:19 able to do in, terms of money than weep already

11:17:21 provide.

11:17:23 Tampa Police Department has come up and said that we

11:17:27 are not in the business of putting these folks in jail.

11:17:32 They have told me this privately.

11:17:34 They said it publicly.

11:17:35 And I believe them.

11:17:36 I think that what will happen based on what the

11:17:41 assistant chief said will happen, that compliance will

11:17:45 come to bear when an ordinance is passed.

11:17:50 I ran on a platform that did call for a complete ban.

11:17:54 But I am not immune to any suggestions to try to bring

11:17:58 up the issue of free speech.

11:18:01 I know, for example, that both the sentinel, the

11:18:05 Tribune, the "St. Pete Times," all sell papers at

11:18:09 different times during the week, mostly Sundays, but

11:18:12 also during the week for the sentinel.

11:18:14 There are ways that we can look at how we can bring

11:18:17 these folks into the fold to try and exempt them.

11:18:22 But I do think we are going to have a Constitutional

11:18:24 challenge to that.

11:18:25 I don't want to spend money to have legal challenges,

11:18:28 but at the same time we need to be able to balance

11:18:30 these issues in the right way.

11:18:34 Mr. Cohen's idea is intriguing and interesting.

11:18:37 I would like to take a look at that when we are

11:18:40 designing it.

11:18:41 And I'm sure when we leave here today we'll tell legal

11:18:44 to try to take a look at that particular ordinance, in

11:18:47 Jacksonville to see whether or not it would be

11:18:49 something we can do.

11:18:50 But I will say this.

11:18:55 The issue of homelessness will always be here,

11:19:00 unfortunately.

11:19:01 There isn't enough money, especially now, to provide

11:19:04 for the homeless.

11:19:05 We need to do more among our communities.

11:19:08 One of the people that are already out there already

11:19:11 providing the services in order to help them help the

11:19:15 homeless.

11:19:16 And until we do that, nothing we say here, nothing we

11:19:19 do here, is going to matter.

11:19:21 Because this is about our community.

11:19:23 It about us helping each other out as neighbors, not

11:19:27 looking to government to solve problems, and not

11:19:29 looking towards money to solve these problems.

11:19:32 Sometimes, as Mrs. Montelione pointed out, it just

11:19:37 takes a bit of kind newspapers to bring someone to your

11:19:39 home to help them out when they are having a bad time.

11:19:41 Until we realize that, and until we stop looking

11:19:46 towards everyone else as a problem, or everyone else to

11:19:50 solve a problem, we are never going to solve these

11:19:52 problems.

11:19:54 It was pointed out earlier that Catholic charities

11:19:57 tried to come up with a solution, or at least a partial

11:20:00 solution to some of these problems.

11:20:01 And the county commission decided not to encourage it

11:20:04 and not to vote in favor of that.

11:20:06 I have not seen another entity or another group of

11:20:10 entities to come up with something like that.

11:20:14 Unfortunately, because of the constraints that we have

11:20:16 both in terms of our budget, in terms of the type of

11:20:20 organization that we have, we are not built for social

11:20:23 services.

11:20:24 This not what the city does.

11:20:26 I would support a total ban.

11:20:28 I would like to see a compromise, though, and hopefully

11:20:31 we can come up with something to help exempt some of

11:20:35 folks that are trying to earn a living on the street,

11:20:39 and hopefully the public safety issue, which I know is

11:20:43 very much on everyone's mind, will be able to be

11:20:47 solved, but at the same time fit in Constitutionally

11:20:49 and legally.

11:20:50 Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.

11:20:52 12347 thank you, sir.

11:20:56 Ms. Mulhern.

11:20:57 >>MARY MULHERN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

11:21:02 I'm going to try to make this -- I won't make any

11:21:07 promises.

11:21:08 Everyone has come up with great proposals here today on

11:21:13 this dais.

11:21:18 Councilman Chairman Miranda and I have been talking

11:21:21 about this and Councilwoman Capin for a year, and

11:21:26 probably a year and a half or two years that we have

11:21:28 been talking about this on council.

11:21:30 So a lot of the issues brought up today, I think legal

11:21:34 has already either explored or at least opined on what

11:21:38 we can do.

11:21:38 But I want to start out with what I think is -- let's

11:21:43 put this in perspective.

11:21:44 This problem, this issue, this push for a ban on

11:21:48 panhandle came from a large -- I don't know if it's a

11:21:53 majority of our constituents, because I won the

11:21:56 reelection running against two people who were in

11:21:58 support of a total ban.

11:22:00 So I don't know if there's even a majority of the

11:22:04 public who wants us to ban panhandling.

11:22:07 There probably is.

11:22:08 But that's why we are here, because there was a public

11:22:11 outcry.

11:22:12 So our job was to see legally and as a community, and

11:22:21 city government, what we could do to address that

11:22:23 problem, and we have been talking about it for a long

11:22:26 time because it's so complicated both legally, and I

11:22:29 think morally.

11:22:31 So I think the basis for any kind of action, any kind

11:22:35 of ordinance, we have been told, is public safety

11:22:39 question.

11:22:40 I don't feel like we have seen a -- if you put this in

11:22:44 perspective of the public safety questions, as was so

11:22:47 eloquently brought up by Councilman Reddick,

11:22:53 panhandling on the streets is not a significant public

11:22:55 safety problem when you look at the violent crime, you

11:23:00 look at -- if you just look at even safety in the

11:23:07 roadways, our problems have been for workers on the

11:23:10 street getting hurt, when they are on the side of the

11:23:14 road.

11:23:15 For bicyclists, 12 deaths in one year, and we have

11:23:18 maybe one death of a panhandler who was inebriated, and

11:23:22 I'm not even sure that was in the city.

11:23:24 I think it was in the county.

11:23:27 So we have no idea if that had anything to do with the

11:23:30 person panhandling or if he was just drunk wandering in

11:23:35 the street.

11:23:35 So I think that the public safety issue is

11:23:37 questionable.

11:23:39 What it really then comes down to, I think more, is the

11:23:42 image.

11:23:43 And I understand when people say "it looks bad."

11:23:48 And I actually think this last City Council compounded

11:23:50 it with the neon vests, because what it did was made

11:23:56 panhandlers become even more noticeable in those vests,

11:24:00 and really the outcry about kind of came after that.

11:24:03 So it is an image problem.

11:24:06 But banning panhandling is not going to help with this

11:24:09 overall problem that everyone has been talking about

11:24:11 here today.

11:24:13 It's the fact of unemployment, of poverty, of

11:24:16 homelessness, of lack of services for all these people,

11:24:21 lack of jobs, lack of income.

11:24:22 That's why people are out there panhandling.

11:24:25 Those people, if they can't panhandle, are still going

11:24:28 to have to find a way to raise whatever little bit of

11:24:32 money that is.

11:24:33 We know there's 7% of the homeless population, which is

11:24:37 more than a thousand people, does panhandle.

11:24:40 They do that in order to find a place to sleep, or to

11:24:44 cover whatever needs they have.

11:24:46 So I think the image problem, this is not going to be a

11:24:51 solution for it.

11:24:51 If we want Tampa to be a place where people want to

11:24:55 come and do business, we need to be a livable city, and

11:25:00 the things that -- the number one thing that we can do

11:25:02 is provide jobs and be a welcoming place to live.

11:25:08 And I think this assertion that people are coming here

11:25:13 because we have -- aren't coming here because we have

11:25:16 panhandlers, there's no proof of that, and the reality

11:25:19 is, Florida is in trouble, the unemployment is so bad

11:25:23 here, the fact that maybe we have more panhandlers

11:25:26 here, it is perhaps because other cities passed this.

11:25:30 But I think if we are going to solve these problems, as

11:25:37 Councilwoman Capin said, this is the symptom of this

11:25:41 the reel really bad problem.

11:25:43 And I think this is not really going to be a big

11:25:46 solution to it.

11:25:47 So the other thing I want to address is Mr. Cohen's,

11:25:53 you know, really great ideas, and support for the media

11:25:58 and for free speech and for the press and the

11:26:01 marketplace of ideas.

11:26:02 But that was the question I believe that came up, you

11:26:06 know, probably a year and a half, two years ago, can we

11:26:14 just to continue to allow newspaper sales?

11:26:17 And the answer we got from legal department was no.

11:26:19 So I support us further into that to see if we can do

11:26:24 that to find out because I do want to support our

11:26:26 newspapers.

11:26:27 But I would also like to point out that someone asking

11:26:29 for money, or holding a sign, that's free speech, too.

11:26:34 And we are really in danger.

11:26:37 This is what really worries me.

11:26:39 This is the slippery slope.

11:26:40 And especially when we hear that the downtown

11:26:46 partnership is really in favor of this ban.

11:26:51 And it does happen on the streets downtown.

11:26:53 But what happens next, if we outlaw -- if we

11:26:57 criminalize asking for money, that is the effect of

11:27:04 this ban on panhandling.

11:27:06 We criminalize it on certain roads.

11:27:09 And I guess on all roadways.

11:27:19 What does that mean?

11:27:20 We don't want them doing it in the parks.

11:27:22 If we have pass an ordinance where else can they go?

11:27:25 Well, they can go to the parks.

11:27:26 Then we start criminalizing that.

11:27:28 I know there was an attempt to do that a few years ago

11:27:32 and I'm not sure if it passed or not.

11:27:35 So this is a very slippery slope where we say you can't

11:27:38 be a beggar, you can't be poor, and be asking for help

11:27:44 in public.

11:27:45 And so I think the question, I not just a question of

11:27:49 free speech, it's a question of saying this is who I

11:27:55 am.

11:27:56 Unfortunately, this what am I going to do?

11:28:01 So I worry about what kind of precedent we set with

11:28:03 this, and where we go next.

11:28:05 And then the last thing I want to talk about is I think

11:28:09 the positive result of this discussion is all the

11:28:18 people hear including us, I believe our police

11:28:21 department proposing that we have a TPD liaison.

11:28:24 I don't know if we talked about that today but we had a

11:28:28 proposal that we asked for out of our community

11:28:32 development block grant money this year, asked for

11:28:35 $50,000 for a police officer that is a liaison to the

11:28:38 homeless.

11:28:39 And that's a great idea.

11:28:42 But that only works if he has or she has somewhere to

11:28:45 direct these people.

11:28:48 You know, if you are going to -- a panhandler on the

11:28:52 street and saying what are you doing, why are you doing

11:28:54 this?

11:28:55 Oh, I need somewhere to sleep tonight.

11:28:58 There's somewhere to send them.

11:28:59 And we don't have that.

11:29:00 And I think we should learn from what happened in

11:29:03 Pinellas because they passed their ban.

11:29:05 If this council is going to pass a ban, we have got to

11:29:08 have-open if we have this I am annal problem we have,

11:29:20 how are we going to solve the underlying problem?

11:29:29 We don't have a social services department.

11:29:31 We do have federal funding.

11:29:33 And part of the reason that we are not hearing from

11:29:36 some of these charities, they have been here over and

11:29:38 over, and they are probably busy helping the homeless

11:29:41 people right now.

11:29:42 But it also because they do depend on us for the

11:29:45 funding for that.

11:29:46 Part of their funding, a large part of their funding is

11:29:49 federal funding that comes down through us so we do

11:29:52 have a responsibility ton look at our budget and

11:29:56 especially if we are going to pass a ban that's going

11:29:59 to hurt these people, we have to say, okay, and it

11:30:02 going to cost us money to enforce.

11:30:06 Our money and our budget to support a place for these

11:30:10 people to go, and I think there's $12 million worth of

11:30:16 CDBG money we heard about last week.

11:30:19 I can't remember if that's the right figure.

11:30:21 Something like $12 million.

11:30:23 We were asked for this little $50,000 to have a

11:30:27 liaison.

11:30:28 Why don't we ask for a bigger chunk of some of that

11:30:32 CDBG money, and this council can do that to go into

11:30:42 something that the model like St. Pete had.

11:30:45 And I think for us to pass some kind of ban without

11:30:47 doing that, making that financial commitment, that

11:30:51 commitment to find a place for people to go, shouldn't

11:30:54 happen.

11:30:55 And so lastly, I want to appeal to the mayor because he

11:31:02 came here, what it is first tore speak and said he want

11:31:04 this to pass.

11:31:06 Here is what he can do.

11:31:10 He can appeal, and we can appeal, too, but I think the

11:31:15 mayor will have bigger appeal, to the private sector,

11:31:18 especially.

11:31:19 We have downtown partnership, Westshore Alliance, all

11:31:22 of these businesses that want this to go away.

11:31:31 We need some private sector commitment to building a

11:31:34 Mace for these people to go and for that kind of

11:31:37 programming.

11:31:38 So the mayor needs to get behind that and meet with

11:31:40 them, and also we need to look at this funding that we

11:31:49 have, CDBG funding, and find other ways to help with

11:31:52 this problem.

11:31:53 One police officer isn't enough.

11:31:57 And if banning panhandling is such a big priority then

11:32:03 solving the problem of where these people are going to

11:32:05 go and helping to not just push people away but find

11:32:10 somewhere for them to go is just as important.

11:32:21 You I am going to listen to my colleagues but I am not

11:32:24 for supporting any kind of ban that doesn't include a

11:32:26 commitment of dollars from the city, and an appeal to

11:32:30 the private sector to work on the problem of lack of

11:32:38 place for people to sleep at night very, very minimum.

11:32:43 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Let me, if I may, put in my two

11:32:45 cents before we continue.

11:32:46 I am not enclosing this discussion by council members

11:32:48 right now.

11:32:49 You see, I sit here and I listened like all of us

11:32:53 listened, and I look at the audience.

11:32:55 You know what comes to my mind first of all?

11:32:58 We passed over $750 million budget, and maybe two of

11:33:02 you show up.

11:33:08 So what I see here is an ingredient that all of you

11:33:11 want to solve a problem.

11:33:12 Both side.

11:33:13 And I don't count heads.

11:33:14 But if my memory serves me correct, the people that

11:33:17 spoke for those 45 or 50 minutes, it was so evenly

11:33:24 divided could you split them.

11:33:26 They all had great ideas.

11:33:28 They all wanted to solve a problem.

11:33:32 When you listen to council members there were no

11:33:34 speeches coming from a list of things they wrote.

11:33:37 They were speaking from the heart.

11:33:38 And to me that's more important than anything else.

11:33:41 They realize what the problem is.

11:33:43 However, realizing a problem and solving one is two

11:33:47 different things.

11:33:52 All of us realize what your own needs are.

11:33:54 But also you have to realize how to solve your own

11:33:58 needs.

11:33:58 It is not I'm a little older than most.

11:34:05 You don't have to chuckle there, Mr. Reddick.

11:34:08 [ Laughter ]

11:34:08 But what I see, and I remember hearing newspaper sales.

11:34:12 And I am not going to ask you to wave your hand or

11:34:14 anything like that but how many of you remember the old

11:34:17 Ford restaurant?

11:34:18 It looked like a tombstone.

11:34:20 There was a fellow something, "newspaper, newspaper,"

11:34:24 selling newspapers.

11:34:25 You remember that when you were a young boy and girl.

11:34:27 Everybody was selling newspapers.

11:34:28 You remember the Columbia restaurant, 22nd and 7th

11:34:32 Avenue selling newspapers.

11:34:33 Mother and son.

11:34:39 It deposition back to the beginning of time.

11:34:41 And I am not here to speak for the newspaper industry.

11:34:43 What I am saying is how you solve this problem, it's

11:34:46 not only in St. Pete, not only in Hillsborough County,

11:34:51 Florida, it's in the whole United States of America and

11:34:53 when you look at it in the whole world.

11:34:55 Look at the problem they are having in different

11:34:57 countries in finances.

11:34:59 Look at our own problem in finances.

11:35:01 Look at the debt service you have to face.

11:35:02 We all may be homeless.

11:35:04 Who knows?

11:35:08 So what I am trying to say is, it's a very difficult

11:35:10 issue, although it's simple when you say panhandling.

11:35:14 Panhandling is only the tip of the iceberg.

11:35:18 And it's a problem that we have to address long-term.

11:35:22 How do you solve that problem?

11:35:24 I don't know.

11:35:25 I'll be very sincere with you.

11:35:30 If I was asked for an opinion how to solve the problem,

11:35:34 I guess the answer would be "I'll get with you later"

11:35:38 because no one knows.

11:35:39 So I have heard some great, great remarks by council

11:35:41 members.

11:35:44 I have heard bans, no bans, let's take the ban from

11:35:48 Hillsborough County, initiated, then bring back another

11:35:51 ordinance to exempt the newspapers.

11:35:53 I have heard a six-day with Sundays available.

11:35:56 I have heard all kinds of compromises.

11:35:58 And I think that's good and healthy.

11:36:01 See, only in this country do we have this give and

11:36:03 take.

11:36:03 You go to a dictatorship, there's only one statement,

11:36:06 whoever the dictator is, and that's the end.

11:36:11 So thank God we are not there.

11:36:13 And it's a situation here that it's very heartwarming

11:36:19 to see people that take people into the house and helps

11:36:22 them out, and people who give, and this situation could

11:36:25 be solved without any ordinance.

11:36:28 People didn't give, they wouldn't be there.

11:36:34 That's a hard statement even to make.

11:36:36 But that's the truth.

11:36:38 You wouldn't need police protection.

11:36:40 You wouldn't need arrests.

11:36:41 You wouldn't need anything.

11:36:42 But America is about helping people that are down.

11:36:45 That's why they give.

11:36:48 There's an old saying, remember, people on the way up,

11:36:52 because you may be the one going down the other side of

11:36:54 the stepladder.

11:36:55 And that happens quite often.

11:36:58 It's not about richness and poorness and color and

11:37:02 ethnicity and who are you and who were you born, how

11:37:05 long have you been here?

11:37:06 It's a current problem.

11:37:08 In fact, people come here really for two reasons in

11:37:10 this area, or used to.

11:37:12 It changing now.

11:37:13 Because we only have two seasons, Christmas and summer.

11:37:17 And now the summers are getting so Holt they are only

11:37:20 coming at Christmas.

11:37:21 So it's a situation that that's very compelling.

11:37:26 How do you solve one newspaper problem without hurting

11:37:28 the other one, putting the other out of business?

11:37:32 So I would ask the legal department on what you heard,

11:37:36 is it legally possible to go understood the -- and let

11:37:41 me say this.

11:37:42 Once you start with a full ban, are you going to tell

11:37:47 me we are going -- it working so well they want a

11:37:50 six-day ban? That will never happen.

11:37:52 Never.

11:37:52 Politically, had won't happen.

11:37:54 So where I'm saying is, ordinances can be changed.

11:37:57 So if you start with a six-day ban and it doesn't work,

11:38:00 you can go to believe a full ban.

11:38:01 But if you have a full ban and it works, you would

11:38:03 never, never realize if a six-day ban ever worked

11:38:07 because no one is ever going to bring it back again.

11:38:09 That's the reality of the truth of the matter

11:38:12 politically, period.

11:38:13 So for the legal department, is it -- what I heard was

11:38:19 a statement by Mr. Cohen, very compassionate speaker,

11:38:22 so was Mr. Reddick, so were the rest of the council

11:38:25 members spoke very eloquent and very compassionate on

11:38:28 this issue.

11:38:29 Is it possible to go back to the Hillsborough County

11:38:31 ordinance, and then bring back an ordinance that

11:38:34 excludes only newspapers legally, defensibly, a

11:38:40 thousand percent, not a hundred?

11:38:44 >>JIM SHIMBERG: As Mr. Cohen mentioned that is in place

11:38:46 in Jacksonville.

11:38:46 There's a special provision that allows newspaper

11:38:50 sales.

11:38:52 And as Mr. Cohen mentioned earlier, as far as we know,

11:38:56 that specific has not been challenged.

11:39:02 Mr. Cohen makes some good argument and our department

11:39:05 will vigorously defend any ordinance you guys adopt if

11:39:09 it's challenged.

11:39:10 So my answer would be, council can do what you think is

11:39:14 the right thing to do after listening to the evidence

11:39:16 and considering all the factors.

11:39:19 And if you do that, we will defend it.

11:39:21 If someone challenges it.

11:39:22 I think that Jacksonville ordinance has been on the

11:39:24 books since, I think, maybe 2004.

11:39:30 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Let me say this.

11:39:31 I also don't want to put the administration on their

11:39:33 heels by passing an ordinance and not giving them time

11:39:35 to look at some avenues to solve the problem.

11:39:38 To pass one and say here it is, now you handle it, then

11:39:43 I'm not doing much to solve the problem other than I

11:39:46 took it off my shoulders and put it on somebody else's

11:39:50 shoulders which I don't like to do.

11:39:52 Is there any way of passing an ordinance which would

11:39:54 then give the administration, from what I heard from

11:39:58 Mrs. Montelione, Mrs. Capin, Mr. Suarez, Mr. Reddick,

11:40:03 Mr. Cohen, Mr. Mulhern -- I did that to be a good

11:40:10 chairman -- so the administration can completely

11:40:12 understand what was said, and about applying for

11:40:15 federal dollars, to work within the system to solve --

11:40:19 we are not going to solve 100 percent of these

11:40:22 problems, because they are -- it's like foreclosure.

11:40:24 You solve 1,000.

11:40:26 Another 1500 show up.

11:40:27 So it's a situation that is very dire.

11:40:31 It's a situation that should be addressed.

11:40:33 I think, yes, there is a public safety, but I also

11:40:36 believe that the.

11:40:37 Of the evidence to me is that it's a situation if

11:40:41 somebody wanted to come in, to move in, to higher

11:40:43 somebody, possibly the same ones that are employed,

11:40:45 won't come.

11:40:46 And it's an image problem as long as -- the same amount

11:40:51 as a problem of public safety.

11:40:54 And Mrs. Dorzback, on Sundays -- I'm sorry, one second,

11:40:59 Mr. Mrs. Dorzback.

11:41:00 On Sundays, it was put into the record that on Sundays

11:41:03 you have about a 45% less traffic count in certain

11:41:06 intersections.

11:41:07 Is that about correct?

11:41:09 >> Jean Dorzback, transportation division.

11:41:11 There was information in the letter that was received.

11:41:15 Again, that was taking a portion of the information out

11:41:18 of a very comprehensive study.

11:41:21 So I think part of the problem is there's a lot of

11:41:23 different ways to extract information from these

11:41:26 studies and put a different perspective on it.

11:41:29 So for that particular statement that was made, it was

11:41:32 based on a particular portion of information from a

11:41:34 study, and that not necessarily a statement that is

11:41:37 made for the entire City of Tampa.

11:41:40 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: All right.

11:41:40 Let me ask you another question since you are the

11:41:42 expert and we are not.

11:41:43 Is it true or not true that on Sundays you have a much

11:41:46 lesser traffic count throughout the City of Tampa?

11:41:49 Not a specific location but throughout the City of

11:41:50 Tampa?

11:41:52 >>JEAN DORZBACK: Again, I would like to answer the

11:41:55 question very carefully.

11:41:58 On specific roadways, at certain times, there could be

11:42:02 less traffic.

11:42:04 On the weekends, we tend to have special events.

11:42:07 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I understand that.

11:42:08 And I don't mean to make this a complex issue.

11:42:11 I know if there's a football game you are going to have

11:42:13 a lot more traffic on Dale Mabry.

11:42:14 I understand that.

11:42:16 >>JEAN DORZBACK: Right.

11:42:17 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: But I'm talking the whole city.

11:42:19 Do you have less traffic if there were no events?

11:42:23 >>JEAN DORZBACK: I would say in general, during the

11:42:25 traditional morning and afternoon times of day, we

11:42:28 generally have less traffic during those times than we

11:42:32 do during the weekday.

11:42:35 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

11:42:41 >>JIM SHIMBERG: Could I ask a question?

11:42:43 In terms of come back and the time, clearly, at this

11:42:46 workshop council can pass a motion giving direction for

11:42:49 administration to come back and report on opportunities

11:42:53 available to fund some of those programs, and/or you

11:42:58 can give us direction to bring back an ordinance for

11:43:00 consideration.

11:43:01 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: That's what I am trying to get at so

11:43:03 the administration is not shocked to say, here it is,

11:43:05 do it, so that if something is brought up that is

11:43:08 passed by four council members, then than way the

11:43:10 administration, we can't say in that ordinance,

11:43:13 tomorrow it your problem, bye-bye.

11:43:17 No.

11:43:17 We'll work with you to solve the problem within a

11:43:19 guideline time so that we can both work together, the

11:43:21 legislative and the administrative.

11:43:23 That's all I am saying.

11:43:24 I want to be helpful.

11:43:25 Council members, I believe, want to be helpful.

11:43:28 And I think we want to solve or trail to solve as much

11:43:31 of this problem as we can.

11:43:32 I understand about the leaflets and private properties

11:43:36 and city rights-of-way.

11:43:37 And I think those things will be solved as you and I

11:43:39 talked about this morning.

11:43:40 So Mr. Reddick, I yield to you.

11:43:43 And then I would like to wrap up this conversation

11:43:46 somewhat.

11:43:46 >>FRANK REDDICK: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

11:43:48 And I am not familiar with the Jacksonville ordinance,

11:43:52 and that's one of the things I wanted to address, too,

11:43:57 to legal as well as staff, that they prepare the

11:44:03 ordinance as well as some of the other issues that came

11:44:07 up of city administration, of how we can implement this

11:44:11 and prepare a draft and resubmit to the council for our

11:44:15 consideration.

11:44:23 >>MIKE COHEN: Could I add to that in the form of a

11:44:25 motion, maybe, and see if we can -- maybe ask the

11:44:28 administration to do three things.

11:44:33 To come back with two alternatives for an ordinance.

11:44:37 One, the six-day ban on the Pasco model, the other the

11:44:43 Jacksonville model that we talked about with the

11:44:48 exemption for the press, and then a third prong to

11:44:51 really start developing -- and maybe we need to do this

11:44:57 in three separate motions, but to start developing a

11:45:00 game plan for how we can find and use resources to

11:45:05 direct toward the homeless and poverty situation in our

11:45:10 community, recognizing that the county and nonprofit

11:45:13 agencies have a primary role, it still affect us

11:45:17 tremendously.

11:45:17 What can we do to step up to the table with resources

11:45:21 to help alleviate some of these problems.

11:45:27 If it's council's pleasure maybe we need to make all

11:45:29 three motions separately.

11:45:31 Or should they all be done one?

11:45:33 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I will ask the counsel for the

11:45:37 council and I'm sure Mr. Shelby will come up with --

11:45:42 >>MARTIN SHELBY: The more concise individual motion it

11:45:44 is better the direction to the administration.

11:45:48 >>MIKE COHEN: I am going make three separate motions.

11:45:52 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Do you want to speak before he makes

11:45:53 the motion?

11:45:55 >>MARY MULHERN: No, ask a question.

11:46:03 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: You yield to Mrs. Mulhern, right?

11:46:05 >>MIKE COHEN: Of course.

11:46:06 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you.

11:46:07 >>MARY MULHERN: My question is if you are asking

11:46:09 for -- four motions, but you talked about two different

11:46:14 panhandling motions, or solicitation motions.

11:46:17 Could those be combined?

11:46:19 So maybe we can come back with an alternative.

11:46:25 >>JIM SHIMBERG: I think coming back with different

11:46:30 alternatives is going to make it more complicated for

11:46:32 you guys to deal request the issue.

11:46:34 And again, we have had a couple -- a three-hour

11:46:38 workshop now and I think everybody wants to move

11:46:40 forward on the issue.

11:46:42 If you give us direction to come back with multiple

11:46:44 options --

11:46:47 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I agree with that.

11:46:50 >>JIM SHIMBERG: But it's up to pleasure of council, if

11:46:51 you can get a motion that passes we'll respond to it.

11:46:54 >>FRANK REDDICK: That was my original intent.

11:46:56 Before I yield.

11:47:02 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I'll come back to Mr. Reddick.

11:47:04 I believe Mrs. Mulhern spoke.

11:47:06 Ms. Capin.

11:47:09 >>YVONNE CAPIN: Again in reference to what the chairman

11:47:10 said about a six-day, one day, that if we go to a total

11:47:16 ban we will never know what a six-day, one-day could

11:47:20 have done.

11:47:21 Did same thing with a five-day two-day.

11:47:25 Anything that comes forward needs to have a sunset to

11:47:28 be looked at again.

11:47:33 And see if it is working and how it is working.

11:47:35 If we don't do that, we are not going to look at this

11:47:39 again.

11:47:44 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: We have Mr -- I'm sorry.

11:47:46 >>YVONNE CAPIN: Also on the week and he the safety

11:47:47 issue.

11:47:48 If it's not safe, it's not safe.

11:47:53 I don't know how we are going to get around that even

11:47:57 if Jacksonville is doing it.

11:47:59 That's one.

11:48:00 The other thing is, when it came to the weekend -- and

11:48:08 I'm trying to pull that out, either February 3rd or

11:48:11 February 24th, Ms. Dorzback stated that on the

11:48:15 weekend -- and it was an opinion that maybe people

11:48:18 travel faster.

11:48:22 And that should be in minute.

11:48:24 And I asked about that.

11:48:26 That's why I wanted to look at a study.

11:48:30 And here we are four or five months later looking at it

11:48:34 again.

11:48:37 I do believe we do need to look at public-private,

11:48:40 which is how it always has worked well in the city to

11:48:44 revitalize neighborhoods and everything else, it's

11:48:47 public and private.

11:48:59 Here what was said.

11:49:01 This is Jean Dorzback.

11:49:03 I have received information recently, the Department of

11:49:04 Transportation has several continuous continues

11:49:09 stations that collect data.

11:49:11 These are not people, these are machines that count the

11:49:13 vehicles.

11:49:14 They have several stations that collect the Dalton

11:49:17 weekdays and weekend.

11:49:19 If you look at those volumes, generally speaking, the

11:49:22 volumes are less on weekends than during the weekdays.

11:49:26 Is that true?

11:49:27 However, there is a situation where if the volume is

11:49:31 lower, the human-based behavior tendency is for many

11:49:34 cases for the speeds to go up.

11:49:39 Because there's less traffic, people have a tendency to

11:49:42 want to get to where they are going quicker, and so we

11:49:45 see very often that the speeds increase when the

11:49:47 volumes drop, and, of course, the higher the speed, the

11:49:51 higher the chance of an accident occurring.

11:49:56 That is from February 3rd.

11:50:05 We have gone through this.

11:50:12 I just want to point that out, that as we go forward,

11:50:14 what has already been stated, and that's it.

11:50:21 Thank you.

11:50:22 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I have two council members than have

11:50:24 not spoken.

11:50:24 I ask if they want to speak.

11:50:26 That's Mr. Suarez and Mrs. Montelione.

11:50:29 Mrs. Montelione?

11:50:32 You are not clear on the motion, the motion read by Mr.

11:50:37 Reddick?

11:50:38 Would you state that motion?

11:50:39 >>FRANK REDDICK: There was a motion, to ask staff to

11:50:41 report back to council with the model that we have in

11:50:47 Jacksonville for consideration.

11:50:52 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: All right.

11:50:56 That was before Mr. Cohen which I haven't taken Mr.

11:50:59 Cohen's yet.

11:51:00 I haven't taken Mr. Reddick's yet.

11:51:04 What is that going to do?

11:51:05 I'm asking our legal department to bring back that, to

11:51:08 bring that as an ordinance or just to look at it in I

11:51:10 don't know.

11:51:10 >>FRANK REDDICK: As a draft ordinance for our

11:51:13 consideration.

11:51:14 Because I don't think all of us know the model in

11:51:20 Jacksonville so I would like to be review it.

11:51:22 >>REBECCA KERT: Legal department.

11:51:23 The question is, do you want to come back just as a

11:51:27 draft for to review or be set for first reading?

11:51:32 >> A draft.

11:51:34 >>JIM SHIMBERG: In order to put that in place, you

11:51:35 would have to bring back repeal your existing

11:51:39 ordinance.

11:51:39 That would have the county's ordinance apply

11:51:42 countywide.

11:51:43 Then could you bring back an ordinance creating the

11:51:46 special exception that Mr. Cohen referenced that would

11:51:49 create exception for newspapers.

11:51:50 That's one way to do it.

11:51:51 There's a couple different ways to do it.

11:51:53 But that seems to be the cleanest.

11:51:56 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: And much more can complex, because

11:51:58 now if you bring back a draft ordinance, it doesn't

11:52:02 change anything that I know of.

11:52:03 Doesn't change the ordinance that we have.

11:52:05 Doesn't change the --

11:52:08 >>JIM SHIMBERG: You need to bring back -- if you wanted

11:52:09 to do that, you would also have to either bring back an

11:52:12 ordinance repealing what you have, or an ordinance

11:52:14 putting in place a ban.

11:52:15 So you have to have a couple steps.

11:52:18 If you want ton do that. But in order to make

11:52:20 progress, you might want to consider asking -- and I

11:52:23 didn't mean to say you couldn't bring two ordinances,

11:52:26 especially if they were consistent with each other.

11:52:28 To bring back, if you say bring back a six-day ban and

11:52:31 bring back a total repeal in the Jacksonville

11:52:34 ordinance, that's pretty confusing, and then you don't

11:52:36 know what you are voting on.

11:52:37 Could you do that, turn one down and pass the other

11:52:40 one, or pass neither one of them.

11:52:42 And, again, one point.

11:52:44 I know some members are frustrated that you have talked

11:52:47 about this issue for a long time.

11:52:49 But we do have to recognize we have four council

11:52:51 members that have never talked about this issue before.

11:52:57 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Once you get elected and you serve

11:52:59 one day, you are no longer new.

11:53:04 [ Laughter ]

11:53:05 Put that on the record.

11:53:07 And I understand, I have a motion by Mr. Reddick,

11:53:09 second by Mrs. Mulhern, is that to bring back a model

11:53:12 ordinance, I don't know what that ordinance is.

11:53:18 I don't.

11:53:19 How can I bring back something I don't know what it is?

11:53:23 I can understand what Mr. Cohen was bringing about.

11:53:28 I can understand what's on the floor now.

11:53:30 And it becomes very compelling to understand both of

11:53:34 them at the same time.

11:53:35 So I am going to take this motion first that I have on

11:53:38 the floor.

11:53:39 Then I am going to go back and see if we may end with

11:53:42 two ordinances for review and then choose the one that

11:53:44 we want.

11:53:45 Two draft model ordinances.

11:53:47 And that's my suggestion.

11:53:48 Because I hear now that the complexity of this thing,

11:53:51 we are still divided.

11:53:53 Mrs. Mulhern on the question.

11:53:54 >>MARY MULHERN: Thank you.

11:53:56 Yes, on the motion which I seconded.

11:53:57 But if the maker of the motion would like to consider

11:54:05 the changes -- do you want me to just second it?

11:54:08 Okay.

11:54:09 >>FRANK REDDICK: That would be fine.

11:54:10 >>MARY MULHERN: Mr. Cohen made some different

11:54:13 suggestions.

11:54:13 So if you would rather.

11:54:18 >>MIKE COHEN: We can do it separately.

11:54:21 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I am not going to speak to the maker

11:54:23 of the motion but I believe clearly the intent of the

11:54:25 maker of the motion, the second, was to bring back the

11:54:27 Jacksonville model ordinance for consideration as a

11:54:29 draft ordinance.

11:54:30 >>FRANK REDDICK: Correct.

11:54:36 >>JIM SHIMBERG: Is that asking legal to bring back

11:54:37 everything that would be necessary in that case in

11:54:39 order to -- so really you have to -- you don't want to

11:54:43 just put the Jacksonville ordinance in place, that

11:54:47 newspapers can do it.

11:54:47 If you have an ordinance that says as long as you wear

11:54:50 a vest.

11:54:52 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: As I understand from the motion on

11:54:53 the floor if it passes on one motion to bring back the

11:54:55 total ordinance from Jacksonville as a draft model for

11:54:59 our review.

11:55:00 Am I correct?

11:55:09 >>MARY MULHERN: Repeal existing ordinance.

11:55:11 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I am going to tab this motion on a

11:55:12 vote and then bring Mr. Cohen's motion back.

11:55:15 Motion by Mr. Reddick, second by Mrs. Mulhern.

11:55:18 Pleas state it again for the record.

11:55:20 >>FRANK REDDICK: That staff bring back to council the

11:55:25 Jacksonville model ordinance for our review and

11:55:29 consideration in a draft ordinance.

11:55:35 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: At the same time with repeal of the

11:55:36 current ordinance.

11:55:37 I ever a second by Mrs. Mulhern.

11:55:38 All in favor?

11:55:40 Opposed?

11:55:41 Motion passes 6 to 1.

11:55:45 6 to 2.

11:55:49 Give me a roll call.

11:55:52 >>MIKE SUAREZ: Yes.

11:55:55 >>YVONNE CAPIN: No.

11:55:56 >>FRANK REDDICK: Yes.

11:55:58 >>MARY MULHERN: Yes.

11:56:01 >>MIKE COHEN: Yes.

11:56:02 >>LISA MONTELIONE: No.

11:56:05 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Yes.

11:56:05 Now, that being said, I believe Mr. Cohen had a motion.

11:56:10 Do you want to make?

11:56:11 And I am not opposed, or I don't think anyone should be

11:56:14 opposed to having a look at two reviews so we can have

11:56:17 the best in our area.

11:56:18 Mr. Cohen, you had a motion.

11:56:20 >>MIKE COHEN: I make a motion to ask the legal

11:56:22 department to bring back what we have been referring

11:56:25 here today as a six-day ban.

11:56:29 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Do I have a second?

11:56:33 >>LISA MONTELIONE: I would like to ask, if I could, to

11:56:35 amend that motion.

11:56:36 >>MARTIN SHELBY: Mr. Chairman, I'm sorry.

11:56:40 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Let me get a second to that and then

11:56:42 we will go from there, if I get a second.

11:56:44 I don't have a second.

11:56:45 So I yield the chairmanship, I will second Mr. Cohen's

11:56:49 motion.

11:56:52 You have the floor.

11:56:54 I take back the chairmanship.

11:56:55 >>LISA MONTELIONE: A friendly amendment within that

11:56:58 ordinance, Mr. Shimberg, from what I understand, I want

11:57:01 to be clear, that what we are referring to as the Pasco

11:57:04 ordinance also has a provision in the six-day ban for

11:57:09 severability, should that ordinance be challenged.

11:57:12 So I want to make sure that that is also included in

11:57:15 the -- I'm sorry?

11:57:19 >> Mr. Cohen, do you accept that amendment?

11:57:23 It been accepted, apparently, amendment.

11:57:25 Motion on the floor.

11:57:26 I can't have this because I seconded the motion.

11:57:28 Mrs. Mulhern, it now your chair.

11:57:31 >>MARY MULHERN: All in favor of the motion being made

11:57:33 by Councilman Cohen, seconded by Councilman Miranda.

11:57:37 All in favor?

11:57:39 All opposed?

11:57:42 Passes unanimously.

11:57:44 >>JIM SHIMBERG: Can I have one clarification, Mr.

11:57:48 Shelby?

11:57:49 When these votes come up, the two and the one, the

11:57:53 inconsistency past votes, right?

11:57:55 >>MARTIN SHELBY: My suggestion, council, would be, and

11:57:59 it would be appropriate if you wish to do so, to pick a

11:58:01 time when would you like to have them come back.

11:58:03 My recommendation would be to have them both appear

11:58:06 under staff reports and unfinished business, not set

11:58:08 for first hearing consideration.

11:58:11 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: You are absolutely correct.

11:58:12 And we'll do it that way.

11:58:13 And whichever of those ordinances comes back that

11:58:17 receive the majority of vote by council, I'm sure that

11:58:20 that would be the way we are going to go.

11:58:23 >> My recommendation would be to inquire of the legal

11:58:27 department how much time they need to do that so you

11:58:30 can make as part of the motion, amend them to have put

11:58:33 on your agenda with a date certain.

11:58:36 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Mr. Cohen and Mr. Reddick, would you

11:58:37 please ask the legal department the time that is

11:58:39 necessary?

11:58:40 Maybe they can work it within the time frame.

11:58:42 >>FRANK REDDICK: How much time do you need in.

11:58:47 >>JIM SHIMBERG: I would say somewhere in the range of

11:58:49 30 days, but one related point that Chief Bennett and

11:58:52 Mrs. Dorzback asked.

11:58:53 If there's additional data or information that you to

11:58:56 have to be considered at the same time, would you

11:58:58 please ask them now so we can make sure that we have

11:59:01 that available at the time?

11:59:05 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I'm sure this council will want

11:59:07 information on traffic counts.

11:59:08 I'm sure they are going to want information on what the

11:59:10 police department is doing, the excellent police

11:59:12 department that we have so we can have more

11:59:15 comprehensive review of what we are bringing before us.

11:59:17 Mr. Cohen, you have the same feeling of 30 days?

11:59:20 >>MIKE COHEN: Yes, that's fine.

11:59:22 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: So 30 days would be what, clerk?

11:59:31 >>MIKE COHEN: It would be around the 21st.

11:59:34 There will be an evening meeting on the 28th of

11:59:36 July.

11:59:38 >>JIM SHIMBERG: The 28th Mrs. Kert and I are not

11:59:40 available.

11:59:40 If we could the 14th.

11:59:42 >>MARTIN SHELBY: That's close.

11:59:47 >>JIM SHIMBERG: July 14th?

11:59:50 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I won't be here the 14th.

11:59:51 I have a thing to take care of.

11:59:58 >>JIM SHIMBERG: August 4th?

12:00:02 Could that be first reading if they decided to move

12:00:04 forward, though?

12:00:06 >>MARTIN SHELBY: Technically because it is

12:00:08 legislative, council, you could set it for first

12:00:10 reading because the opportunity to comment on it would

12:00:13 be at a second reading and adoption public hearing.

12:00:18 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Bring them both in as first reading

12:00:20 on August 4th.

12:00:22 I will hopefully be here, if I am still breathing.

12:00:24 >>MARTIN SHELBY: Council, if I can, Mr. Chairman,

12:00:28 please indulge me for just a minute.

12:00:30 I think Mr. Shimberg raised a very good point.

12:00:33 Because to bring them both back for first reading

12:00:35 consideration is problematic, because the question is,

12:00:38 you have to iron out when you are going to address the

12:00:43 denying one of them, which you would have to do, and of

12:00:45 course then you would have the placement on the agenda

12:00:48 which one you are going to take up first.

12:00:50 So it would be my recommendation --

12:00:53 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Let me try to solve the problematic

12:00:55 problem on a real simple avenue.

12:00:58 You bring them back on first reading, but you discuss

12:01:01 the issue after reports from the administration, then

12:01:05 by the time you kick one out you are only going to have

12:01:08 one left.

12:01:10 >>JIM SHIMBERG: That's fine.

12:01:12 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Is that acceptable?

12:01:14 >>MARTIN SHELBY: So put that on staff reports

12:01:16 unfinished business, and then take them up after the

12:01:20 staff reports in 12347 correct.

12:01:22 That was a way to skin the cat.

12:01:25 Well, I apologize.

12:01:28 Now, that being said, I think, again, I am going to

12:01:33 thank each and every one you for being here on behalf

12:01:35 of the seven council members.

12:01:37 You have given us an enormous amount of input,

12:01:40 compassion from your heart, and that's really what life

12:01:43 is all about.

12:01:44 We do have other business matters.

12:01:47 Ms. Montelione.

12:01:48 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Many of us talked about also asking

12:01:52 for consideration of funding for different programs.

12:01:56 And I would like to make another motion.

12:02:00 We talked about making self here in reference to this

12:02:02 issue.

12:02:03 I would like to make a motion to have staff, since we

12:02:06 are looking at August 4, to bring us back under staff

12:02:09 reports on August 4th identifying opportunities for

12:02:15 utilizing NSP-2 funds ton offer an RFP for housing, so

12:02:22 that requires, I believe, Mrs. West from affordable

12:02:25 housing to be present, as well as legal department, and

12:02:31 may also include Thom Snelling from our construction

12:02:38 division, real estate construction.

12:02:43 For that RFP for housing to include individuals in need

12:02:46 of rapid rehousing.

12:02:49 And I would also like to be have as well for our budget

12:02:55 folks to come back with identifying opportunities

12:02:58 within our budget for increasing our funding to the

12:03:00 homeless coalition, whether that be through CDBG fund

12:03:05 or through general revenue funds.

12:03:07 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: We have a motion by Mrs. Montelione.

12:03:09 Is there a second?

12:03:10 >>MARY MULHERN: I would like to ask for an amendment

12:03:15 or an addition to that motion.

12:03:16 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Let me get the second.

12:03:19 >>MARY MULHERN: I'll second it.

12:03:22 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Okay, go on.

12:03:22 >>MARY MULHERN: If we could also ask for the

12:03:25 administration to provide us with -- we have these

12:03:32 recommendations from staff for CDBG fund appropriation

12:03:37 last week.

12:03:38 If we could ask them also -- I think this is the third

12:03:42 addition to your motion, if you would accept it -- to

12:03:46 provide to council any of these applications for CDBG

12:03:52 funds that the administration received this year that

12:03:57 related to any kind of homelessness.

12:03:59 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Absolutely.

12:04:02 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I have a motion by Mrs. Montelione,

12:04:04 seconded by Mrs. Mulhern with a friendly amendment.

12:04:07 We did discuss this during the process of the hearing

12:04:09 that weighed here regarding the workshop on

12:04:13 panhandling, so it's very appropriate.

12:04:15 And that the administration, not saying here it is, but

12:04:19 August 4th is ample time for an answer.

12:04:22 All in favor of that motion please indicate by saying

12:04:24 Aye.

12:04:24 Opposed nay.

12:04:26 The Ayes have it unanimously.

12:04:27 Thank you very much.

12:04:27 Let me say this.

12:04:28 It past 12:00.

12:04:31 We could have some good people here from code

12:04:33 enforcement coming to discuss chapter 19.

12:04:37 I would like to have a recess and come back at 1:35.

12:04:41 So they can have ample time for their discussion.

12:04:45 Am I going to have a quorum?

12:04:48 I have a motion by Mr. Reddick.

12:04:50 Second by Mr. Cohen to come back at 1:35.

12:04:52 All in favor of the motion?

12:04:54 Opposed?

12:04:55 The Ayes have it unanimously.

12:04:56 We stand adjourned.

12:04:58 Receive and file all the documents.

12:05:20 (Tampa City Council in recess until 1:35 p.m.)

12:05:30 [Roll Call]

13:37:14 >>MIKE SUAREZ: Here.

13:37:17 >>YVONNE CAPIN: Here.

13:37:18 >>MARY MULHERN: Here.

13:37:20 >>MIKE COHEN: Here.

13:37:22 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Here.

13:37:22 This is a workshop for discussion of changes on the

13:37:24 city code chapter 19.

13:37:27 We will discuss it among the administration and the

13:37:31 City Council.

13:37:31 Then we'll have 30 minutes for public input on the

13:37:34 workshop.

13:37:35 Are we ready?

13:37:40 Jake Slater, code enforcement, City of Tampa.

13:37:44 Thank you for having me here this afternoon.

13:37:45 We are here for a workshop on proposed changes to

13:37:48 chapter 19 which is for the property structure, and

13:37:55 once we deal with code enforcement on a regular basis.

13:38:02 Do you have copies?

13:38:03 Okay.

13:38:04 As a summary, we have updated the administrative

13:38:08 references currently referring to the vision of our

13:38:11 neighborhood improvements to the department of code

13:38:13 enforcement.

13:38:15 Our main purpose here is to approve the overall

13:38:19 efficiency and effectiveness of code enforcement, and

13:38:26 to establish more of a legal ground when we have to

13:38:30 take administrative action, and we have to issue orders

13:38:33 as a last resort to have the citizens deal with the

13:38:37 code enforcement, and the citizens is not dealt with

13:38:42 the code enforcement actions, and we have to take

13:38:46 action, and wave to spend city money.

13:38:50 That's what this is about today.

13:38:57 The first order that I want to go over is in regard to

13:39:00 the change is the order to repair, which is on page

13:39:05 number 2.

13:39:08 And this is an order that I have only used one time

13:39:12 since I have been here at code enforcement.

13:39:15 And this is not for the minor type of wood damage or

13:39:19 actual structural damage.

13:39:21 This is when it's been determined that the building is

13:39:23 in serious issues, that could possibly present a threat

13:39:32 to public safety.

13:39:33 As an example, we issued an order about two months ago

13:39:37 on a building in Ybor City called the castle.

13:39:40 And as you can see, there it is.

13:39:42 And why we issued an order here was we determined

13:39:46 through myself and the building bureau and the fire

13:39:48 marshal that there were serious type of actual damage

13:39:51 that could pose or did actually present actually a

13:39:56 threat to public safety.

13:40:01 And we are actually doing this now.

13:40:07 The second change is in the order to demolish, which we

13:40:12 are currently using right now, which last year we

13:40:15 issued approximately 20 orders to demolish in the City

13:40:19 of Tampa.

13:40:22 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: If I may interrupt one second.

13:40:23 That's a building, from my recollection of history,

13:40:27 that's been like that for 40 years, leaning inside.

13:40:32 >>JAKE SLATER: Yes, sir.

13:40:34 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: And had like a foot drop from the

13:40:36 eastern side to the western side.

13:40:38 You had to walk with a cane to hold yourself up.

13:40:41 I mean, that wasn't new from today.

13:40:43 It was some time back.

13:40:45 >> We were just concerned about these --

13:40:49 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Oh, I understand that.

13:40:50 And you are right.

13:40:51 You are absolutely right.

13:40:52 I understand that.

13:40:52 >>> The order to demolish, we are currently using that

13:41:00 right now.

13:41:00 >>MIKE SUAREZ: Quick question about the castle real

13:41:04 quick.

13:41:05 There's buttresses.

13:41:07 I noticed metal buttresses underneath.

13:41:10 Was that something that was ordered to be put in or

13:41:12 they put in in order for it not to fall?

13:41:15 >>> In the order.

13:41:16 That was a result of our order.

13:41:18 Yes.

13:41:19 >>MIKE SUAREZ: Okay.

13:41:20 >>> To demolish basically the same, again we used this

13:41:28 last year about 20 times.

13:41:29 The only thing we are adding is if the building is

13:41:31 located in a historical district, we will include the

13:41:34 historical manager to actually sign off on a demolition

13:41:39 order.

13:41:40 Again, these are vacated, actually, properties.

13:41:47 The next one on the bottom of page 27 is the order

13:41:51 declaring a building unfit for human habitation.

13:41:55 We are currently doing that now.

13:42:01 The change in that is -- that the one that we included

13:42:07 the fire marshal in?

13:42:13 No, okay, we just added some additional wording in

13:42:16 regard to the overall standard of the building.

13:42:21 The order to vacate is some changes in there, and

13:42:24 that's when a building looks basically like this, unfit

13:42:28 for human habitation, and we included the fire marshal

13:42:32 in that.

13:42:33 If we have to order it to be vacated, we have to

13:42:37 relocate people to some other area, and we would like

13:42:41 to be able to recoup the fund on that.

13:42:44 So we have included the fire marshal on that one.

13:42:49 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Let me ask you a question.

13:42:50 I understand the good intentions of your division and

13:42:55 the reason for this.

13:42:56 But when you talk about recouping money here, unless

13:42:59 there's insurance money, there's a more than here, do

13:43:04 we fall at the end, a first mortgage, a second more

13:43:08 than, a house that's understood water by 50, $100,000,

13:43:11 how are we going to recoup money?

13:43:14 >>> through the --

13:43:16 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Let the attorney answer.

13:43:19 And we are going to be.

13:43:25 >>> in essence what we would be doing would be billing

13:43:27 that property owner for whatever cost the city

13:43:30 expended.

13:43:32 If they did not pay the bill, we would then go through

13:43:34 the listening process through an abatement assessment,

13:43:38 liening, and it would be on property -- whether we

13:43:42 would get foreclosed out is a question of seniority, as

13:43:45 far as when got recorded in relation to whatever

13:43:49 instrument is being foreclosed out on.

13:43:52 But we would end up liening that property and it would

13:43:56 attach to that particular piece of property.

13:44:03 >> I am making the assumption that these good people

13:44:05 that live there for a reason, certainly don't have the

13:44:07 fund, and we are going to cut it from 60 days to pay to

13:44:10 30 days to pay, and cumulative cost of people who don't

13:44:13 have money.

13:44:16 "A."

13:44:17 And "B."

13:44:20 I try to digest and understand the reasoning for this.

13:44:23 I don't know what your rate of compliance is.

13:44:25 Can you tell us what the rate of compliance is?

13:44:28 >>ERNEST MUELLER: If we liened this, it would be from

13:44:37 the demolition lien, and we have from previous special

13:44:40 acts that were enacted we would have priority, within

13:44:42 our interpretation of those special acts would give us

13:44:45 the priority on that assessment lien over the mortgage.

13:44:50 So it would be, I believe, the language is of equal

13:44:54 dignity or just under taxes.

13:44:58 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: So if a home is in this condition,

13:45:01 even though there's a Marge on it, you are telling us

13:45:03 that you have first collection right over a mortgage

13:45:07 company?

13:45:10 >> It has been our position --

13:45:12 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I'm not asking position.

13:45:13 I'm asking legally do you have a rate to be ahead be?

13:45:17 >>> We have language from a special act that is still

13:45:19 within our code called related laws that gives it the

13:45:22 priority over a mortgage.

13:45:25 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Has that ever been tested?

13:45:27 >>> we have not been contested on that yet, no, here in

13:45:30 the City of Tampa.

13:45:31 >>MIKE SUAREZ: I get Mr. Miranda's point.

13:45:35 In a case like this, if there is a mortgage there's

13:45:38 insurance, and the insurance company would be cutting

13:45:41 us a check for the cost of demolition.

13:45:43 Correct?

13:45:52 >>> I don't know how it would work out.

13:45:54 In other words, if we went ahead and demolished, if we

13:45:57 are going to take the payment, whether it's insurance

13:45:59 company or property owner --

13:46:02 >>MIKE SUAREZ: I understand that.

13:46:03 >> And we won't have to lien.

13:46:06 >> And an insurance adjustor is going to come in and

13:46:09 says we are just going to pay for the replacement cost

13:46:12 of the home, they will cut a check to whoever the first

13:46:16 lienholder is and back to Mr. Miranda' point, you are

13:46:20 saying we would be the first lienholder.

13:46:22 I mean, they are not going to cut a check directly to

13:46:25 the homeowner, correct?

13:46:30 >>ERNEST MUELLER: I am not exactly hour sure how would

13:46:33 that would work out.

13:46:35 >>JIM SHIMBERG: City attorney.

13:46:36 Let me clarify.

13:46:37 First I understand Mr. Miranda's point which is in the

13:46:41 current economic climate there's a lot of situations

13:46:43 that are pretty desperate.

13:46:44 And if the city puts another lien on top, there's a

13:46:48 good chance we won't get paid.

13:46:50 And I understand your situation where if there's

13:46:52 insurance, and we don't really know what the specific

13:46:56 situation you are going to be.

13:46:57 I think what Mr. Slater and Mr. Mueller are talking

13:47:02 about, there's only certain circumstances where it's so

13:47:04 bad that we have to go in and demolish it ourselves.

13:47:07 Normally you go through a process where in that

13:47:09 situation would you ask the property owner to do that

13:47:11 and give them sufficient time.

13:47:13 It's only in certain emergency situations where there's

13:47:15 really no other alternative and the city needs to go in

13:47:18 there for a public safety reason to demolish the

13:47:22 structure, in that case saying we want to put in

13:47:25 essentially a claim to recoup our cost in if that's

13:47:28 possible.

13:47:28 And I think stepping back one second.

13:47:32 The idea that the entire exercise we are here inform

13:47:35 today, at least the way I understand, is not for the

13:47:37 city to gain any more super powers every everyone.

13:47:41 It's really just to kind of clean up some of our

13:47:44 procedures and clarify them, make them a little bit

13:47:46 easier for people to understand, and us to interpret,

13:47:49 not really to change anything.

13:47:51 So all these situations, and it correct, we are as

13:47:57 aggressive as we can be in trying to collect money.

13:48:00 In some cases we are foreclosed out other cases we

13:48:03 can make the claim that we are superior to the

13:48:05 mortgages.

13:48:05 >> And the only point I was making is he brought up the

13:48:13 point of mortgages and followed up on Mr. Miranda's

13:48:16 point.

13:48:17 Chances are, we are demolishing, they probably do not

13:48:20 have a loan out anyway, and back to Mr. Miranda's

13:48:24 point, which is if there's no loan, this thing is

13:48:28 demolishable according to our code that means we are

13:48:31 probably not going to get any money out of the person

13:48:32 who owned this house because it was in such disrepair

13:48:35 to begin with.

13:48:38 That would be my guess.

13:48:39 >> But I guess we are still saying --

13:48:42 >>MIKE SUAREZ: I don't expect -- I'm not trying to

13:48:45 make them answer specific questions.

13:48:48 Because that came up, I just wanted to find out because

13:48:50 there is a real cost to what we do when comes to

13:48:53 demolishing something.

13:48:55 And if we are doing that and never going to recoup

13:48:57 cost, where are we going to be in the pecking order?

13:49:00 That's way wanted to make sure we understand.

13:49:02 >> I think Mr. Slater can clarify this.

13:49:05 His department does not go out to demolish properties.

13:49:07 >> No, I know that.

13:49:09 I know that.

13:49:11 No, no, Jim, Mr. Shimberg, I understand that.

13:49:14 I don't want to confuse the issue.

13:49:15 I just want to make sure that we understood what we

13:49:18 were asking in terms of everything else.

13:49:22 In this circumstance, 'n as Mr. Miranda mentioned,

13:49:24 chances are there's not going to be any insurance money

13:49:27 anyway, is my guess, if it's completely demolished.

13:49:30 Thank you, Mr. Miranda.

13:49:33 >>YVONNE CAPIN: First, I wanted to ask an example of

13:49:36 the last time we demolished a house, a property.

13:49:39 >> Jake Slater: Probably about a week ago.

13:49:44 >> About a week ago?

13:49:45 >> Yes.

13:49:46 >> The other question was, when we were talking about

13:49:49 liens, even if the house is demolished, there's a lien

13:49:52 on the land?

13:49:54 >>> Yes.

13:49:55 >>YVONNE CAPIN: There's a lien on the property.

13:49:56 There's something there.

13:49:57 That was the other one.

13:49:59 And again we are assuming that there is insurance.

13:50:04 One of questions was about insurance, and that's an

13:50:06 assumption because you don't really have to, in many

13:50:09 cases, have it.

13:50:10 That was it.

13:50:11 I wanted to know when was the last one.

13:50:13 Thank you.

13:50:14 >>LISA MONTELIONE: That was one of the questions I was

13:50:18 going to ask.

13:50:20 Thank you, Mr. Chair.

13:50:23 There was some discussion.

13:50:24 And I apologize for coming in late but there was some

13:50:27 discussion on whether or not the individuals could

13:50:30 afford to pay the lien, because the house wouldn't be

13:50:33 in this state of disrepair if they had the money to fix

13:50:36 it up.

13:50:37 That's assuming that it's individuals who own the

13:50:42 homes.

13:50:44 When we have so many houses that are owned by joint

13:50:49 venture partnerships, by investors, by banks, by even

13:50:57 some mortgage service companies who are going in.

13:50:59 Who knows how creative people are going to be and

13:51:04 corporations will be when comes to recouping their

13:51:06 losses on their investments?

13:51:08 So I don't know that we are imposing another cost to

13:51:14 individuals who are already hurting from the downturn

13:51:18 in the economy.

13:51:19 I think if anything, the lien repayments, if it's on

13:51:24 the books, and as Councilwoman Capin pointed out it

13:51:28 would stay with the land, will be recouped from the

13:51:30 investor who is going to purchase that property in

13:51:32 order to turn that property into something that is --

13:51:39 that they can make money off of.

13:51:41 So I think that the collection is going to be from

13:51:46 investors who are purchasing those properties rather

13:51:48 than the original owners who allow the home to become

13:51:53 in such a state of disrepair.

13:51:56 I know from just dealing with the construction lien

13:52:00 process that you can place a lien on a property, and

13:52:04 you may not get repaid for ten years.

13:52:10 Or if you end up getting paid at all.

13:52:12 Because by the time a construction lien is not in first

13:52:16 position and by the time the property does change hands

13:52:19 or somebody refinances it or there's a trigger, that

13:52:24 would the payment of that lien through the court

13:52:28 system.

13:52:29 It's many years down the road.

13:52:30 So my heart goes out to Mr. Slater because we do a lot

13:52:35 of work, and we don't have any means to recoup the

13:52:41 money that we have put out.

13:52:43 So we have to at some point look at the collections

13:52:48 process.

13:52:49 And I spoke with Mr. Slater, about that, and trying to

13:52:52 find some mechanisms to recoup some of the dollars that

13:52:56 the city is spending.

13:52:58 So whatever we can do in that regard in my book is a

13:53:05 favorable thing.

13:53:06 Thank you.

13:53:06 >>> I thought this would be interesting to the members

13:53:10 of council.

13:53:11 This is our yearly budget that code enforcement has for

13:53:14 these demolitions, property maintenance, towing.

13:53:20 You see we are about 449,000.

13:53:35 Towing 9,000.

13:53:36 Last year we were right at the edge.

13:53:39 How we spent the money.

13:53:41 How much money we got back.

13:53:43 I am not sure, I am not involved in that actual

13:53:47 process.

13:53:49 But as you folks know, we could spend this pretty

13:53:52 easily.

13:53:52 So again, this is at the last resort that we have to go

13:53:59 in and actually spend city money.

13:54:01 For these orders.

13:54:04 One of the changes that we are proposing is being able

13:54:09 to recoup our money when we have got to go in and board

13:54:12 up the buildings, to secure a building.

13:54:14 We have a lot of this over in East Tampa, South Tampa,

13:54:21 New Tampa.

13:54:23 What we are experiencing actually in New Tampa, and New

13:54:26 Tampa is the first and second most active census

13:54:30 tracks, in vacated properties.

13:54:33 New Tampa.

13:54:34 One and two, Sulphur Springs number 3.

13:54:38 Weep currently have under 3,000 properties registered

13:54:42 right now and it's going up.

13:54:48 So what we want to be able to do if we had to go in --

13:54:52 and again this is after legal notice, time has passed,

13:54:55 and when we have to go in and spend money to actually

13:54:58 board up a house.

13:54:59 This is what it looked like before.

13:55:01 This is the way it looks like after.

13:55:05 Estimated cost on this is about $100 per house.

13:55:12 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Mr. Cohen, I believe, wanted to ask

13:55:14 something.


13:55:15 >>MIKE COHEN: I just wanted to follow up on

13:55:16 Councilwoman Montelione's comment about collections.

13:55:20 When you were in my office, we were talking about

13:55:23 various different ways the city could collect money

13:55:26 that's owed to it.

13:55:27 And during our budget workshop, when we were talking

13:55:30 about different areas in the city's finances where

13:55:34 people owe a lot of money, we talked about the idea of

13:55:38 employing collection agencies to collect some of the

13:55:44 moneys that are owed.

13:55:44 I just wanted to point out, again, for the record, that

13:55:47 the Florida legislature actually requires the court

13:55:51 system and other state agencies to turn delinquent

13:55:55 account over to collection agencies when they are 90

13:55:58 days in arrears.

13:56:00 And the way that the legislation is written, it does

13:56:04 not -- the money does not come off of what the

13:56:07 collection agency does, does not come off of the money

13:56:10 that is owed to the city.

13:56:11 It is assessed on top of the money that is owed to the

13:56:14 city.

13:56:15 I just suggest it because it might be another Avenue

13:56:20 that you might be able to look to, to get some of this

13:56:24 money when you are out spending it.

13:56:28 >>> Thank you, Mr. Cohen.

13:56:31 We talked about that with legal, and that's going to be

13:56:34 our next phase to actually take a look and see what

13:56:36 type of collection process that's currently in effect,

13:56:40 I don't know because I am not involved within that.

13:56:44 But thank you for those comments.

13:57:02 This is an order to a bait.

13:57:04 This is the most frequent order was that we would be

13:57:07 using, and this is when we have to go and actually

13:57:10 clean up actually property, vacated property.

13:57:13 We have actually close to $275,000.

13:57:25 We average close to 40 or 50 a month.

13:57:29 Average cost for something like this is about 4 or

13:57:31 $500.

13:57:35 And we are actually looking to -- we send out a letter

13:57:41 now, and on the bottom of the letter is verbiage about

13:57:44 if you do not actually do it, we are going to do it for

13:57:46 you.

13:57:48 The order to abate would give us actually legal ground

13:57:53 to actually go onto the property.

13:58:03 Circumstances, we define some of the language, what

13:58:06 constitutes an emergency circumstance.

13:58:09 An emergency order.

13:58:14 These order, just as we had discussed with you, there's

13:58:17 an appeal process.

13:58:19 If a property owner feels that they want to appeal it,

13:58:22 that they have the right to appeal it, and that will be

13:58:25 before the code enforcement special magistrate within a

13:58:29 week's time.

13:58:30 So there is an appeal as to process in the place.

13:58:40 If they want to -- in the bindings, on section 19-7, we

13:58:52 changed the procedures a little bit right now where we

13:58:58 actually send out the bill, send out the notice of

13:59:01 attempt to lien and the challenge, if the property

13:59:08 owner want to challenge an abatement fee, they can do

13:59:12 it within actually 30 days and the challenge is made to

13:59:15 me.

13:59:16 I'm the one actually writing out the check.

13:59:19 If we have to go in and mow the property, clean up the

13:59:22 property, abate the property.

13:59:27 We are proposing some language additions dealing with

13:59:32 hazardous trees.

13:59:33 Currently code enforcement doesn't have any provisions

13:59:36 in our code dealing with actually hazardous trees.

13:59:40 We are asking for the ability to deal with those and to

13:59:46 have a certified arborist make the determination, and

13:59:52 then we would send out a notice.

13:59:56 And the property owner has to deal with that after we

13:59:59 have been given notice on that.

14:00:02 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I agree with the hazardous tree.

14:00:05 However, we have to be very careful because I would

14:00:06 make an assumption that most of the trees on city

14:00:09 rights-of-way are.

14:00:15 >>> I would probably say there's quite a few on city

14:00:18 rights-of-way.

14:00:18 We have to ask for changes or -- actually vacated

14:00:23 swimming pools and a spa maintenance.

14:00:25 We do have a problem with vacated properties and

14:00:29 abandoned swimming pools.

14:00:36 Section 19.105 through the end of that, that was the

14:00:41 actual old process that has not been in use probably

14:00:44 for the last ten years or so.

14:00:49 We have actually taken that out.

14:00:54 We are not asking for authority.

14:00:57 We are not asking for any heavy handed enforcement

14:01:00 changes.

14:01:00 Just asking this will help us recoup the money to do it

14:01:06 in a more efficient and effective manner.

14:01:18 And to work with budget money I have to work with.

14:01:21 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I understand that and I appreciate

14:01:22 that.

14:01:22 But we have so many things come in that we as council

14:01:25 members may hear and you good folks may never hear.

14:01:29 For instance, the alley that you just showed, that was

14:01:33 not an alley, but now they are dumping in the alley.

14:01:36 Who do we go after?

14:01:38 The homeowner who abuts the alley.

14:01:40 Then I am asking myself, that's not the

14:01:42 homeowner's-when you go in and investigate, the

14:01:45 homeowner never did that.

14:01:46 Somebody dumped it there.

14:01:47 And the eggs I way out is to get the property owner

14:01:51 whose property abuts that property.

14:01:53 And I can't do that with a kind heart and a realistic

14:01:57 mind.

14:01:59 You have certain divisions of this city who can

14:02:02 investigate it, try to find out where that garbage came

14:02:05 from.

14:02:05 And I understand it's very difficult.

14:02:07 But then we tell the homeowner, no, we are not going to

14:02:10 pick it up, queer going to fine you a charge, bill it

14:02:13 to you at the end of the month, and I'm telling myself,

14:02:18 I just as a human being can't do that if I know that

14:02:20 it's not theirs.

14:02:22 For instance, you got furniture there that's all

14:02:25 mangled up and hasn't been used in years, and all you

14:02:28 see the house and you see the inside of the house, and

14:02:31 the furniture can't come from here, but yet that

14:02:34 homeowner is getting charged.

14:02:35 So what does that homeowner have to do?

14:02:38 Go back there, put a rope around it, drag it to the

14:02:41 front side, leave it there, then the city will pick it

14:02:43 up.

14:02:43 So under 1551, that's another area.

14:02:47 We have conflicting laws all over the place here that

14:02:49 just to me don't make too much sense, Jake.

14:02:52 I'll be very sincere with you.

14:02:54 We are trying to work this thing out.

14:02:56 >>> Mr. Chair, that always gives me heartburn every

14:02:59 day.

14:03:00 We don't do a good job with alleys.

14:03:02 But recently, we are actually sitting down request

14:03:05 solid waste and clean and legal and trying to come up

14:03:11 with a better way to deal with alleys.

14:03:13 I don't have an answer today for you.

14:03:15 I don't.

14:03:15 I know that we are not really going out there and

14:03:18 actually citing people like we did in the past.

14:03:21 Because it isn't fair.

14:03:25 That did not come from the house behind the fence.

14:03:29 So we are trying to work through it.

14:03:31 I don't have all the answers on the alleys.

14:03:34 >> We are happy to hear that.

14:03:36 >>JAKE SLATER: They give me heartburn, always do.

14:03:39 Especially your area over there.

14:03:45 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Well, I didn't say I, but I'll say

14:03:50 was "I."

14:03:54 >>JAKE SLATER: We are working on that trying to

14:03:56 Councilman with a better way to deal with alleys.

14:03:58 Who is going to pay for the cost?

14:04:00 Is going to be solid waste?

14:04:02 Clean cities?

14:04:02 Is it going to be code?

14:04:04 I could probably spend $100,000 in a matter of six

14:04:08 months on alleys.

14:04:13 >>YVONNE CAPIN: I think alleys are not being used by

14:04:15 our garbage trucks.

14:04:18 If there's a sofa sitting there for month, then

14:04:21 obviously, so who does the alley belong to?

14:04:24 Has it been given to the property owner like some

14:04:27 alleys, you know?

14:04:29 I forgot what it's called when they --

14:04:34 >>> Vacate.

14:04:36 >>YVONNE CAPIN: So it hasn't.

14:04:37 But it doesn't belong to the homeowner but we are not

14:04:40 using it for services.

14:04:43 Then the alleyway belongs to us.

14:04:46 Right?

14:04:46 >>> To the abutting property owner, half.

14:04:52 Alley does.

14:04:53 >> The abutting property owner has the alley?

14:04:56 >>> They are responsible for it.

14:04:59 >>YVONNE CAPIN: Right.

14:05:03 I remember that when I had an alley that was not used.

14:05:08 It half the alley was to our property and the on the

14:05:13 half to the other property.

14:05:14 And we cleaned it.

14:05:15 >>> Yes.

14:05:17 Some people clean it.

14:05:18 Some people expand it, put fences up, move into the

14:05:23 alley.

14:05:24 They put up a barbecue pit in the alley.

14:05:28 But alleys are on our radar screen.

14:05:31 I hope to be able to come back with solid waste and

14:05:33 clean cities and tell you what our ideas are.

14:05:35 But I don't have it today.

14:05:38 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Thank you.

14:05:42 Mr. Slater, and somewhat to your point, Mr. Chair, the

14:05:48 illegal dumping that goes on around the city, happens

14:05:51 quite frequently in my neighborhood.

14:05:54 Also happens, I believe, in correlation recently with

14:05:58 the foreclosures that happen all over town.

14:06:02 Often, I see in my neighborhood when a homeowner or

14:06:05 renter moves out of the property, it's not long before

14:06:08 that, or long after that, that there are sofas and

14:06:14 belongings are on the street as part of an eviction.

14:06:17 So once the property owner has the right through the

14:06:20 eviction process to remove the content of the home, it

14:06:24 end up on the sidewalk and sit there for quite some

14:06:28 period of time because they don't want to pay the

14:06:30 cities for the special pickup that solid waste charges

14:06:33 to come and get it.

14:06:37 I have witnessed personally times when someone will be

14:06:41 cleaning out a house as part of that process, and they

14:06:44 will go down the street and dump it there.

14:06:47 I have had it happen on a vacant lot that I own right

14:06:50 down the street wherever M my own house.

14:06:53 And there's nothing that is more irritating than to

14:06:59 wake up and look outside and find somebody has used

14:07:02 your property as a dumping ground.

14:07:05 We paid to remove that trash.

14:07:08 But in the cases where typically all of us have seen

14:07:12 where things have been dumped along the side of the

14:07:14 road, solid waste comes by or code enforcement comes

14:07:19 by, marks it with a red X, solid waste knows to come

14:07:23 pick it up.

14:07:26 For a minute it looked like my street but that's not

14:07:31 it.

14:07:31 I guess has a 9 in front of it.

14:07:35 But who pays for picking that up?

14:07:39 >>> On the right-of-way, solid I had waste handles

14:07:42 that.

14:07:45 If it's a serious problem, we will kindly ask clean

14:07:49 cities to help us out, and they have been pretty good

14:07:51 with us.

14:07:52 Or we can pay for it.

14:07:54 >>LISA MONTELIONE: So we are not asking property

14:08:00 owners?

14:08:05 >>JAKE SLATER: Normally it's a vacated piece of

14:08:07 property.

14:08:07 We can send out a notice.

14:08:09 But that takes time.

14:08:11 And we have a problem if we have legal notice if the

14:08:16 property is vacated, the property is empty.

14:08:19 And what happens here within a matter of a day or two,

14:08:22 the pile grows.

14:08:23 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Yes.

14:08:26 Because other look and see, look, there's a place I can

14:08:30 throw my trash.

14:08:32 >> And unless we dot within 72 hours -- solid waste has

14:08:35 been very good to us.

14:08:37 But it is the responsibility of the owner of the

14:08:43 property along the right-of-way.

14:08:44 >> And as part of neighborhood watch I have called code

14:08:47 enforcement, and it is obviously related to the

14:08:52 property, you know, that was recently vacated, although

14:08:56 the trash may be in the right-of-way, it obviously came

14:09:00 from that vacated house that's adjacent to the

14:09:03 right-of-way.

14:09:05 We are not sending any type of invoice to the property

14:09:08 owner to say we just cleaned this up for you?

14:09:17 >>> Solid waste, I'm not sure how they invoice it.

14:09:20 It's a matter of having, I think, being able to

14:09:23 actually prove where the junked trash and debris came

14:09:28 from.

14:09:28 And I know that there has been an environmental

14:09:31 detective that works, but I know that I don't know how

14:09:35 solid waste handles their investigative process to

14:09:39 determine where the trash came from.

14:09:42 I know that normally how we handled it, but we will

14:09:47 send a bill to the property owner, if the house is

14:09:52 actually vacated.

14:09:53 But most of the time we have a problem actually serving

14:09:57 good type of legal notice on that.

14:09:59 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Okay, I'm confused.

14:10:02 Because you said we.

14:10:03 Are you talking about code enforcement?

14:10:05 So code enforcement sometimes will send an invoice to

14:10:07 the property owner?

14:10:10 >>JAKE SLATER: If it's on the right-of-way.

14:10:13 >>LISA MONTELIONE: Right out in front of their house

14:10:15 similar to this?

14:10:17 >>JAKE SLATER: Not on the right-of-way, though.

14:10:18 >>ERNEST MUELLER: These changes are dealing with the

14:10:23 actual private property, you know, not the right-of-way

14:10:28 issues or the alley issues.

14:10:29 What we are doing here, these orders that we have been

14:10:31 talking about --

14:10:33 >>LISA MONTELIONE: I'm sorry.

14:10:35 We digress.

14:10:36 >>ERNEST MUELLER: But you want to remind these orders,

14:10:39 some have been existing, and some we have added in, are

14:10:42 all there to help Mr. Slater and his department try to

14:10:47 motivate that private property owner one last time to

14:10:50 clean up the mess, to get rid of the structure that is

14:10:56 in very bad shape or to oh stabilize that structure

14:11:00 before he has to go in and spend city moneys to do

14:11:02 that.

14:11:04 So that's really what we are doing here is trying to

14:11:06 create these tools that help one last chance to

14:11:09 motivate that private property owner.

14:11:12 And if he does, if that still doesn't work and he has

14:11:15 to go in and spend city money to fix these problems,

14:11:19 then the second part of this is to streamline and make

14:11:22 more efficient the ability to try to get those costs

14:11:26 back from the private property owner.

14:11:28 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I appreciate it very much and it my

14:11:30 fault, but just to check the 19, A, B, have we called

14:11:35 these people on the phone?

14:11:36 I don't know.

14:11:37 Do we call them on the phone?

14:11:38 I don't know what the procedures are.

14:11:40 Do you send them a letter like it used to be a little

14:11:42 postcard?

14:11:43 The old system used to be peer to peer review in the

14:11:46 city or some organization sends a petition that if you

14:11:49 don't do this by a certain date, then the following

14:11:52 thing is going to happen.

14:11:53 Then the following after that is going to happen.

14:11:54 But if I read this correctly you are cutting it down

14:11:57 from 60 to 30 and that's awful short time to call, get

14:12:01 a response, don't find no one, try to find from a

14:12:04 neighbor where they are at now.

14:12:06 I don't know.

14:12:07 I just don't know.

14:12:07 >>ERNEST MUELLER: A lot of especially the

14:12:13 abatement-type processes, before Jake would be issuing

14:12:16 any types of these orders, he will have already issued

14:12:19 notices for civil citations to that property owner,

14:12:23 giving them the 21 days to do it before a citation has

14:12:26 been issued, and then probably at that time, if they go

14:12:29 back, it's still there, the citation will be issued,

14:12:32 and if it's still there after that, and it's reaching a

14:12:36 point where the grass is very high, where there's a lot

14:12:38 of garbage there, where more garbage is coming in

14:12:41 because the property is obviously looking unmaintained

14:12:43 and unmanaged, then that's when this order would be

14:12:46 irked.

14:12:48 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I understand that.

14:12:49 We are using the word abatement like it's a normal

14:12:51 everyday thing that happens.

14:12:53 It happens but doesn't happen a hundred times a day.

14:12:55 If I am told the right thing, your rate of selling

14:12:59 these things are 87 to 90% that are completed.

14:13:03 Am I right?

14:13:04 >> Yes, sir.

14:13:06 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: So we are talking at most 13% of

14:13:08 some portion.

14:13:10 So then how do we address that portion correctly to

14:13:13 facilitate you, your department, the city and the

14:13:16 neighborhoods to make it a better place to live?

14:13:18 That's what we are looking at.

14:13:19 >>> Yes, sir, I agree.

14:13:22 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Proceed.

14:13:22 I'm sorry for the interruption.

14:13:24 I'll try to leave it to limited interruption.

14:13:26 >>> I went over all the changes and all the addition

14:13:30 was the trees and the pools.

14:13:35 If you have questions that I can answer, I will be more

14:13:37 than happy to answer any questions or any particular

14:13:39 concerns.

14:13:40 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Just proceed right now.

14:13:42 We'll write them down so we can proceed a little more

14:13:44 rapidly.

14:13:44 >>JAKE SLATER: I don't have anything more.

14:13:52 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Are you finished with your

14:13:53 presentation?

14:13:54 >>> Yes, sir.

14:13:55 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: You did better than what I thought

14:13:56 you were going to do. Only joking with you.

14:13:59 Okay.

14:13:59 Any comments by council members at this point on what's

14:14:02 been said?

14:14:03 If not I will go to the public part for -- we can go 30

14:14:08 minutes and have ample time.

14:14:09 How do you like that?

14:14:11 Ms. Capin?

14:14:13 >>YVONNE CAPIN: Before we get to the public, Mr.

14:14:14 Slater, you went through, again, just from beginning

14:14:20 the process to where you get to this point that we are

14:14:25 looking at the 30-day.

14:14:27 When it starts, explain the process.

14:14:31 From the time that it is cited, civil, how much time?

14:14:40 I'm not sure I follow it all.

14:14:42 >>JAKE SLATER: It trash accumulation, the inspector

14:14:45 goes out, sees it, we issue a civil citation warning,

14:14:51 which we send in the mail, certified mail, give them up

14:14:55 to 21 days to correct the problem, they go back on the

14:15:01 22nd day, and they observe it.

14:15:04 And if it's not dealt with, if it's not picked up, the

14:15:08 if the grass isn't mowed, the trash isn't picked up,

14:15:12 they issue a civil citation.

14:15:14 Again, it can either be dropped off, delivered, or else

14:15:20 mailed.

14:15:20 And then a court date is set.

14:15:26 And then after that, we could make the determination to

14:15:30 whether or not we want to abate the property then, or

14:15:35 if we want to wait some additional time.

14:15:37 But we do have the right to abate the property at that

14:15:40 time once the civil citation is written.

14:15:43 >> On the 22nd day?

14:15:47 >> On the 22nd day.

14:15:52 >>JIM SHIMBERG: Again you have a situation where they

14:15:53 went out and gave the person a warning.

14:15:55 And then they went out, and there still was no

14:15:58 improvements.

14:15:59 So then they gave them a citation, which then requires

14:16:02 them to make an appearance in court.

14:16:04 But it only after that process that you mate want to do

14:16:09 an abatement, right?

14:16:12 >>> 21 days.

14:16:13 They go out there.

14:16:14 They observe, let's say, the high grass or trash debris

14:16:18 on the property.

14:16:20 >>YVONNE CAPIN: The first time.

14:16:21 >>> They will issue a civil citation notice saying you

14:16:24 have 21 days to cure this violation, if you don't cure

14:16:28 it, then we will be issuing a civil citation, a court

14:16:31 date, and you will have been to go see the judge.

14:16:34 So if they go there, as Jake says, the 22nd day and the

14:16:37 junk, trash debris is still there, tall grass, whatever

14:16:40 they were noticed for is still there, they will issue a

14:16:42 citation at that time.

14:16:44 They can then, if they come back at a subsequent time,

14:16:47 within a few days or week later, and the problem is

14:16:50 still there, then the department has to say, well, we

14:16:53 still haven't motivated this property owner, to cure

14:16:58 this problem.

14:16:59 Do we give them another ticket?

14:17:01 Or is it enough junk trash and debris where the

14:17:06 neighborhood, it's posing a threat to the public

14:17:08 health, safety, to whereby we feel we have to go and

14:17:11 spend city money and dot.

14:17:13 If they decide that they have got to do it, they have

14:17:15 got to act now, they will then issue what we are

14:17:18 proposing in this order to abate.

14:17:21 That order to abate will then say you have 15 days in

14:17:24 which to clean this up.

14:17:26 If you don't clean this up, the city is going to come

14:17:28 and clean it up and we are going to bill you, and there

14:17:32 will probably be an administrative charge, again

14:17:34 letting them know that they are still going to get

14:17:37 charged for this.

14:17:38 You will also tell them if you don't pay that bill,

14:17:40 then we will be liening the property.

14:17:42 And then -- and this is a.m. very important thing it

14:17:46 does -- is it gives those people the right to appeal

14:17:49 that order.

14:17:49 If they disagree with that order, they have the

14:17:51 opportunity to appeal it.

14:17:54 And they can appeal that.

14:17:55 And if they decide to appeal it we will schedule in the

14:17:58 front of the next available either special magistrate

14:18:00 or code board hearing, in order to get them there

14:18:04 within a week.

14:18:05 That appeal will happen within a week because our

14:18:07 special magistrates and code boards meet every week.

14:18:10 So we will get in the front of the next available one.

14:18:12 But the key is, every time we are trying to motivate

14:18:15 these people to take care of their property so the city

14:18:17 doesn't have to pay for it.

14:18:19 >>YVONNE CAPIN: And there's just one question.

14:18:20 In between the 22nd day and the notice to abate, is

14:18:26 there any time line, or is it up to -- in other words,

14:18:30 you have 21 days.

14:18:31 Then there's the citation with a court date.

14:18:34 And then at some point, if it's not done, the abatement

14:18:42 and 15 days to clear, is there a time between that?

14:18:46 >>> They come back after they issued that civil

14:18:48 citation at a particular time.

14:18:51 That is an operational question.

14:18:53 A neighbor's complaint will probably send them out

14:18:54 there.

14:18:55 >>JAKE SLATER: If this is passed we are going to issue

14:18:59 the order to abate when we issue the citation.

14:19:03 That's what I want to do.

14:19:06 When we issue that as a civil citation to go to court,

14:19:09 we will issue the order to abate at that time.

14:19:12 >>YVONNE CAPIN: So it will be like 37 days?

14:19:16 To the end?

14:19:17 >>> yes, right.

14:19:18 >> And then at that point they can appeal.

14:19:21 >>> The plan is to issue the order to abate and issue

14:19:24 the civil citation.

14:19:27 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

14:19:30 The public portion.

14:19:31 We have a full three minutes.

14:19:43 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Who is that person?

14:19:46 >>> Tim McCray.

14:19:50 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Raise your hand. Each one is three

14:19:51 minutes.

14:19:55 You have three minutes.

14:19:57 You have six minutes.

14:19:58 >> Fran Constantino, Ybor historic civic association.

14:20:04 Welcome new members and new legal.

14:20:07 I guess this is like starting all over again.

14:20:10 We really don't have as an association any objections

14:20:13 to you all passing this today.

14:20:15 But and we are really here to support code enforcement.

14:20:25 I sent an e-mail to Jake Slater, Kelly, all of them,

14:20:30 they immediately, immediately do what we want them to

14:20:34 do.

14:20:34 I mean, they will go out, they will cite the property.

14:20:37 The problem is actually enforcement.

14:20:40 And I think if we pass this today, I would like to

14:20:42 suggest that council have another workshop.

14:20:47 We need to actually look at the time frames of all

14:20:49 these.

14:20:51 There's no enforcement on this.

14:20:55 Ybor City the dumping ground of Tampa.

14:20:56 And I don't understand, if we have reported -- and we

14:21:00 don't want to be snitches.

14:21:02 What we want is for people to come into compliance.

14:21:04 We don't want to the tattle tales.

14:21:08 But we probably have the largest percentage of absentee

14:21:10 owners in east Ybor City.

14:21:13 There are houses we reported two years ago that are in

14:21:16 the exact same condition that they were, and I don't

14:21:18 understand that everybody is so afraid of this

14:21:20 abatement.

14:21:21 I think the first abatement that I heard them do, they

14:21:26 finally demolished it.

14:21:28 But the "A" word to me is like adulterous, the

14:21:31 abatement, such a bad word here.

14:21:34 And then there's huge issues with the code enforcement

14:21:40 division.

14:21:40 Being a realtor, I have seen many HUD settlement

14:21:45 statement where an absentee owner has neglect add house

14:21:49 for years.

14:21:49 There has been like 37,000, $29,000 in fines.

14:21:53 When they sell that property, if the buyer promises to

14:21:57 fix up that property within so much time, they charge

14:22:00 the seller $500 and those fees are gone.

14:22:03 So there's money that is just being out the window,

14:22:08 sale after sale after sale.

14:22:10 If the mortgagee foreclosures on it, from my

14:22:13 experience, the first mortgage holder gets their money,

14:22:15 and anything after that, second mortgage, anything

14:22:19 other than an IRS lien, they are gone.

14:22:22 There's no money there for anybody.

14:22:27 But where we are at in Ybor City as a historic

14:22:30 district, we should have double the enforcement because

14:22:33 we have the Latino out there checking on the historic

14:22:38 homes and we have code enforcement.

14:22:40 But there is no enforcement.

14:22:41 These people like to laugh at these letters and they

14:22:44 are turning into crack houses, or the police are trying

14:22:46 to help us clean up, we have rooming houses that have

14:22:49 been grandfathered in that are absolute crack holes.

14:22:54 Working with the police on one, on second Avenue and

14:22:58 23rd, which is a fabulous historic home, I believe

14:23:00 it was the Guiterra's home.

14:23:05 If I walk in and turn to the left you will find them

14:23:08 fighting over cutting up crack in that house.

14:23:11 We have an informant, I will say, from inside who has

14:23:13 given the police license numbers, car tags --

14:23:18 description of the truck, everything.

14:23:20 There's just no enforcement.

14:23:23 I need to get together with legal and with code

14:23:25 enforcement.

14:23:27 City Council needs to see what their schedule is,

14:23:29 because houses that we reported two years ago, if I

14:23:32 call back and say, okay, what is the status of this

14:23:36 house right now?

14:23:38 Answer: Understood violation.

14:23:40 And the fines keep going.

14:23:42 And the fines keep going.

14:23:43 I call historic preservation.

14:23:45 Somebody installed an illegal chain fence.

14:23:47 What's happening there?

14:23:48 Well, the fines are accumulating.

14:23:50 We have no teeth here.

14:23:53 They don't abate property.

14:23:54 We shouldn't even have to get to the point of

14:23:56 demolition.

14:23:57 It should get to the point that, okay that is on the

14:23:59 clock.

14:24:00 They passed so many days.

14:24:02 Boom.

14:24:02 Take the house back.

14:24:03 Sell it before there's even a chance that it even needs

14:24:06 to be demolished.

14:24:08 But we have had this problem -- I went back in '99.

14:24:14 We had the organization in 2002 so next year it will be

14:24:17 exactly my ten-year anniversary of fighting this same

14:24:20 issue in Ybor City with the same issues that we still

14:24:22 have today, and there is absolutely no enforcement.

14:24:25 Code enforcement is trying.

14:24:26 But then when it gets to legal, there's absolutely no

14:24:30 enforcement.

14:24:30 We have a new legal staff.

14:24:32 We have a new council.

14:24:33 And to set up something where -- the issues and the

14:24:37 problems that we have aren't in the changes they are

14:24:40 asking for today.

14:24:41 They do need to recover money.

14:24:42 But when you sell a house, that owner, that property

14:24:46 going into deterioration walks away with money, the

14:24:49 city gets $500 and the fees are waived, over and over

14:24:53 and over.

14:24:54 And it just really exasperating that we work so hard,

14:24:59 spend our thankless hours trying to clean up the

14:25:01 neighborhood, and it's all for naught.

14:25:03 I'm asking you all to please try to schedule something

14:25:06 where we can come before you in a different type

14:25:10 workshop where we can really get to the meat of the

14:25:12 nitty gritty instead of just trying to change the

14:25:17 ordinance.

14:25:18 What I have seen here doesn't really help the issues

14:25:20 that we have over there.

14:25:23 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you.

14:25:25 Ms. Mulhern wanted the floor.

14:25:27 >>MARY MULHERN: I wanted an answer from Ernie or Jake

14:25:31 about that.

14:25:34 Are we waiving this when there's a sale of the house?

14:25:38 I mean, there has to be a lien?

14:25:41 At what point does lien get applied if people aren't

14:25:44 paying their fines?

14:25:46 >>ERNEST MUELLER: Assistant city attorney.

14:25:48 We are talking about a Code Enforcement Board lien,

14:25:51 yes, on the sale of that, the transfer of that property

14:25:54 one way or another.

14:25:56 It going through a title company, we will get notified,

14:26:00 and first we will require that the violations be cured.

14:26:07 Sometimes they are still active.

14:26:08 And we won't provide for a payoff or settlement of that

14:26:11 until they are -- the violations have been cured.

14:26:16 Once he have been this cured or if they are cured at

14:26:18 the time of transfer, then yes, pursuant to executive

14:26:21 order, there is a settlement of those fines, and they

14:26:25 are at a reduce cost.

14:26:29 >>MARY MULHERN: But what -- maybe Mrs. Constantino

14:26:33 could come back up.

14:26:35 I just want to understand how this is happening.

14:26:37 So that settlement, though, are we settling for $500?

14:26:43 >> It's a matrix depending on how old the violation is,

14:26:47 and whether it's homestead or nonhomesteaded property,

14:26:51 and following that matrix determines as to how much the

14:26:54 reduction is going to be.

14:26:58 >>MARY MULHERN: If the house is being sold, that's our

14:27:01 opportunity.

14:27:02 So why are we not -- why are we doing that, not asking

14:27:06 for the full amount?

14:27:11 >>> An impediment to that property transferring

14:27:14 especially if we are dealing with troubled properties

14:27:16 trying to get them into people that are going to

14:27:18 redevelop that property.

14:27:20 And the more we charge for that Code Enforcement Board

14:27:22 lien, the less chance there is of that getting

14:27:24 redeveloped.

14:27:25 So there's kind of a weighing process going on.

14:27:29 I do want to say, it been brought up a couple of times.

14:27:34 Once Mr. Slater and I kind of get through this process,

14:27:37 we do want to look at the collection process and see

14:27:39 what we can do.

14:27:40 And that kind of goes to your statements, too, Mr.

14:27:43 Cohen, it's kind of our next step is to start looking

14:27:45 at the collection process and see what we can do to

14:27:48 improve it.

14:27:48 But in answer to your question, Ms. Mulhern, there is a

14:27:51 settlement but we do require that violations be cured

14:27:54 before we even consider settlement, and there is a

14:27:57 reduction.

14:27:57 >>MARY MULHERN: It sound like we really need to look

14:28:01 at that.

14:28:01 And it may be that in east Ybor you do have people who

14:28:07 don't have a lot of money.

14:28:09 But if you are talking about an investor --

14:28:13 >> It mostly has to do, Mrs. Mulhern, with even

14:28:16 investment property.

14:28:17 But I beg to differ with Mr. Mueller.

14:28:19 There's a bar, which is reg's bar as we grew up on

14:28:24 5th and 22nd, and they don't let them cure before

14:28:30 close.

14:28:32 There are still HUD settlement statement.

14:28:34 They give them, I think, two years to cure that

14:28:36 property.

14:28:37 So if the new owner buys it and doesn't fix it up that

14:28:40 property is still in disarray.

14:28:42 There is no way they do not let them close until it's

14:28:44 cured.

14:28:45 On that HUD settlement closing statement, I have called

14:28:48 code enforcement, and I have seen figures over $20,000,

14:28:51 and on that HUD settlement statement it shows City of

14:28:53 Tampa $500.

14:28:55 And then the new owner promises, okay, I am going to

14:28:58 clean it up.

14:28:58 And if he doesn't repair it, that money is gone.

14:29:01 Time after time.

14:29:02 I can't even count the times.

14:29:04 So, really, whatever you have to pass today I'm all for

14:29:09 that.

14:29:09 But we really need to get into the nitty gritty of what

14:29:13 we have been going through for ten years.

14:29:15 And I can tell you from my heart there has been no

14:29:19 drastic changes, absolutely.

14:29:20 And it gotten worse.

14:29:21 And I really feel bad.

14:29:23 It like they said.

14:29:24 You know, we are a dumping ground.

14:29:25 But truthfully, if they can identify which house the

14:29:28 dump came from, the city will go out, and God knows

14:29:33 they all know me on a first-hand basis, we are all

14:29:38 going to know each other at this point, but they will

14:29:40 bill the homeowner on their water bill.

14:29:42 Whenever they come out and they spray paint red, when

14:29:45 Jim Pickney he's office or clean city picks up that

14:29:49 trash, it is billed on the last water bill for that

14:29:51 homeowner.

14:29:52 But I think our biggest problem is we have so few owner

14:29:55 occupied that the investors could care less.

14:29:58 They know that it going to mount up and they know once

14:30:01 gets sold it's going to cost them $500.

14:30:04 They don't cure it before then.

14:30:05 >>MARY MULHERN: I think you bring up a really good

14:30:09 point, and I have been hearing about this for at least

14:30:12 four and a half years, and there are fines out there

14:30:16 like that that we are not collecting on, when there's a

14:30:19 sale, and there's a transfer that are a lot bigger than

14:30:23 what you are talking about, too, when we talk about

14:30:25 downtown.

14:30:25 So I think it definitely worth looking into.

14:30:28 And I'll set up a meeting and we can talk about it.

14:30:31 >> There's no incentive for a private investor to own a

14:30:34 property, to fix up a property if he knows he can sell

14:30:37 it, walk away with a profit, waive $30,000, and the

14:30:44 city gets just $500.

14:30:46 In the meantime we worked with crack houses.

14:30:48 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

14:30:49 Next, please.

14:30:49 >> Susan Long.

14:30:54 Two things.

14:30:54 First, I wasn't going to say but now I will.

14:30:57 I totally agree.

14:31:00 We have the same issue in Seminole Heights.

14:31:05 Not just the dark corners on the interstate.

14:31:07 It's all over.

14:31:08 It just the way it is.

14:31:10 But that isn't why I came here today.

14:31:11 I came here about the hazardous tree ordinance.

14:31:15 I'll give you an example.

14:31:16 I have a tree dropping huge limbs, you can see from the

14:31:20 wind there are big holes in the tree.

14:31:22 From a laymen's perspective the tree is done but it's

14:31:26 still there.

14:31:26 The owner doesn't remove it.

14:31:28 So I call code, parks, whoever I am supposed to call,

14:31:31 and say, I want you to come over and tell me if this is

14:31:36 a hazardous tree.

14:31:37 And David Riley, the city's certified arborist says

14:31:42 absolutely, writes up a payment to have this tree, now

14:31:46 have to remove it.

14:31:47 They now have to go down to parks and rec and apply for

14:31:54 a permit.

14:31:56 Now I have to go beg them that it okay to take it down

14:31:58 and pay them several hundred dollars?

14:32:01 I suspect it's going to take more than just adding a

14:32:03 sentence in here.

14:32:04 I would like to see that once you have the city

14:32:10 certified arborist and a tree has to be removed they

14:32:13 don't have to pay $300 or whatever it is for a permit.

14:32:16 All you have to do is pay $1,000 to get it down, but

14:32:19 that notification that it's hazardous would serve as my

14:32:23 permit.

14:32:23 It just seems it would make at lot simpler because we

14:32:26 are going back to the same place we just left.

14:32:29 It seems like it would unburden.

14:32:31 And it's bad enough that you are know that's going to

14:32:33 happen to me the year I don't have the $1,000 to have

14:32:36 the tree taken down.

14:32:38 But that's the way the world runs.

14:32:40 Thank you.

14:32:40 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Next, please.

14:32:43 >>YVONNE CAPIN: Can I ask her a question?

14:32:49 Mrs. Long?

14:32:53 Basically, if I understood you, what you are asking is

14:32:55 when it is certified by the city arborist that it is

14:32:59 done and it needs to come down, that in itself will

14:33:03 suffice as the permit?

14:33:05 >> Yes.

14:33:06 When you say you have to take the tree down because

14:33:08 it's hazardous, and the city tells me, it seems to me

14:33:11 that that should be the permit.

14:33:13 >> Do you feel there should be a certain time?

14:33:19 >>> There's no time limit.

14:33:21 There are some people that let it stand there for three

14:33:23 years, which is exactly what this is trying to

14:33:25 circumvent.

14:33:26 Yes.

14:33:27 >>YVONNE CAPIN: Thank you.

14:33:27 >> Randy Barron, west Comanche.

14:33:32 And that's what I was going to say.

14:33:34 It should act as a permit.

14:33:36 You have to be careful, there.

14:33:37 You want to make sure the people don't have incentive

14:33:41 to wait to get the citation, and now I have waived my

14:33:44 $300 fee.

14:33:45 It's a little tricky there.

14:33:46 But what this is meant to address is my neighbor whose

14:33:49 tree is about to fall on my house and I want to make

14:33:52 sure that tree comes down, and I can't do anything with

14:33:54 code enforcement can't do anything, at least understood

14:33:58 their particular powers.

14:33:59 So that just saves two minutes of my speech.

14:34:03 The other thing I wanted to say is code enforcement is

14:34:07 understaffed, overworked.

14:34:08 It one of the most thankless departments in the city.

14:34:11 They need tools.

14:34:13 We need for them to have tools in order to clean up

14:34:16 this city.

14:34:17 That being said, I just want to make sure when we are

14:34:20 looking at some of the language that we don't give them

14:34:22 overly broad tools, you know, statements like otherwise

14:34:25 fail to comply with the standard established by this

14:34:28 chapter.

14:34:28 That to me is a it bit overly broad.

14:34:30 So you may want to just look at some of the language in

14:34:33 here that may grant too broad of a power.

14:34:40 Not to Jake, because Jake runs this department

14:34:43 perfectly.

14:34:43 But when you look at language that's going to last

14:34:46 forever or until you all change it again.

14:34:48 One last thing.

14:34:49 I know this isn't about this particular change but when

14:34:52 Mr. Miranda brought up about the alleys, as someone

14:34:54 whose garage has six feet between the end of the garage

14:34:57 and the alley, I woke up the other day to find part of

14:35:00 a tree stump that looks to be like a grand tree stump

14:35:03 that was dumped there.

14:35:04 This is like the 15th that had been dumped there.

14:35:08 We really need to address the alley situations.

14:35:10 Sometimes I pay, sometimes I just call up solid waste

14:35:13 and had it removed.

14:35:15 I have had crouches, refrigerators, now the double

14:35:18 whammy, not only is it dumping but it's dumping of what

14:35:21 looks to be an illegal tree cut.

14:35:23 So I think I'm looking forward to when Jake and Ernie

14:35:27 come back with this because we really need to address

14:35:30 the issues with the dumping in the alleys.

14:35:32 Thank you.

14:35:33 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Next, please.

14:35:33 >> Margaret Vizzi, 213 South Sherrill, speaking to

14:35:45 T.H.A.N. again this afternoon.

14:35:47 T.H.A.N. did hear the presentation by Mr. Slater, and

14:35:50 had no concerns.

14:35:55 We fully supported what we heard the evening that it

14:35:58 was presented.

14:36:00 Some of the issues, though, that have been brought up

14:36:03 as far as the alleys, you know, years ago, I know with

14:36:06 our alley, the city went through -- there was a fence

14:36:15 put on each so you didn't have this so maybe it's time

14:36:18 for the city to go back, investigate alleys that aren't

14:36:21 being used and close them.

14:36:24 As far as the tree issue, it is a huge expense, and

14:36:29 doing away with that additional permit may be should be

14:36:36 some cost to come out, I don't know, because that is a

14:36:39 cost.

14:36:39 But some of these issues that were brought up, I hope,

14:36:42 will be addressed.

14:36:43 But as far as code enforcement and making it more

14:36:46 difficult for these code enforcement problems to

14:36:49 continue has been an issue from the Tampa homeowners,

14:36:53 George Bartholomew, who was on the forming committee

14:36:57 for T.H.A.N., which was in 1988, had been talking about

14:37:02 this, has been deceased now for at least, I would say,

14:37:05 ten years, and he has gone over it and over and over.

14:37:10 So this would be almost tribute to George to get code

14:37:15 enforcement solved because it's been a problem for a

14:37:18 long time.

14:37:19 Thank you.

14:37:20 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you.

14:37:20 Next, please.

14:37:25 >>> Martha Jean Lorenzo, 3612 West Cleveland street,

14:37:33 here this afternoon really as a personal representative

14:37:36 for my neighborhood, Bon Air.

14:37:38 One of the officers.

14:37:38 And I'm here to encourage you as strongly as possible

14:37:42 to give the utmost consideration to whatever Mr. Slater

14:37:46 wants.

14:37:51 As someone said, make a phone call to anyone in code,

14:37:54 in particular to Mr. Slater, and he will drive out

14:37:58 almost within an hour, set you up with the right

14:38:02 inspector, ask all the right questions.

14:38:08 Fortunately in our neighborhood, we have almost no

14:38:10 issues.

14:38:11 So things are a little easier for us.

14:38:15 But, nevertheless, we did have an issue that went on

14:38:20 for several years right behind my home.

14:38:22 The house is finally demolished.

14:38:24 Thanks to Mr. Slater's being a hand-on kind of

14:38:28 supervisor.

14:38:30 So I know that I respect Randy Baron.

14:38:35 He's a lot more intelligent than me and has tweaked

14:38:38 more correct language.

14:38:39 And my purpose here today is to tell you that we know

14:38:41 the code needs more teeth, because I listen to issues

14:38:45 all over the city.

14:38:46 But on behalf of the neighborhood, we really think, you

14:38:50 know, been there many, many years, and I heard many

14:38:55 complaints and many old stories.

14:38:56 But he's put a new twist on things.

14:39:01 I hope that in your wisdom you will trust him.

14:39:04 Thank you.

14:39:06 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Next, please.

14:39:07 >>STEVE MICHELINI: I have a couple of comments.

14:39:11 And most of the people brought before the code board

14:39:16 are not malicious and they are not doing things

14:39:18 deliberately to harm the city.

14:39:20 And I know there may be a perception a lot of these

14:39:22 properties are owned by investors, but the ones that I

14:39:25 see are not investor properties.

14:39:28 They are single individual property owners who are very

14:39:31 confused and need help.

14:39:35 They are usually poor.

14:39:36 They are usually not as well educated as some of the

14:39:39 folks that have investment properties, that hire

14:39:41 attorneys and representatives.

14:39:43 And they do get stuck.

14:39:45 And they do need help.

14:39:47 One of things I was going to ask you to advocate is if

14:39:50 a tree is declared hazardous, that as Susan Long

14:39:56 pointed out to you that that certification is being

14:39:58 issued by the city arborist.

14:40:00 That certification should exempt you from having to go

14:40:03 to the Barrio Latino commission, or from going to the

14:40:06 ARC or from going to the Variance Review Board for a

14:40:09 variance to remove that tree.

14:40:11 You ought to be able to take that piece of paper, call

14:40:14 up your tree service and take it down.

14:40:16 A grand tree will cost you about $3,000 to remove.

14:40:19 It's not cheap.

14:40:21 But if you make them also go through a variance review

14:40:24 board process or some other process, you have added

14:40:27 another $2 or $3,000 onto the expense and you have

14:40:30 probably added at least 60 to 90 days.

14:40:37 And the city is going to have the same problem.

14:40:39 A lot of these trees, as the chairman pointed out, are

14:40:41 on the right-of-way.

14:40:42 The city should be in the same obligation to remove

14:40:44 those trees that are hazardous as any other property

14:40:49 owner.

14:40:50 Those trees endanger the property lines, the power

14:40:53 lines, and they fall in the street.

14:40:55 And we have had them in my neighborhood whereby they

14:40:57 have fallen in the street and they sat there for at

14:41:00 least for a day until I got ahold of IRV Lee who got in

14:41:07 touch with Parks Department.

14:41:08 But it blocked the whole street.

14:41:12 There used to be a process called a special purpose

14:41:15 inspection permit.

14:41:18 That permit was issued when a citation was issued, and

14:41:22 you were told to correct a building issue that was not

14:41:26 in compliance.

14:41:27 That permit allowed the city building inspector to go

14:41:30 and tell the property owner what they needed to do

14:41:33 without going through and having the time involved in

14:41:37 getting engineering plans, and also the time involved

14:41:40 in submitting plans for permitting.

14:41:43 Those inspectors told them what they had to do.

14:41:45 The contractor was issued a permit.

14:41:48 The construction was done.

14:41:49 And then they were finaled out.

14:41:51 And that also will help to streamline this process.

14:41:56 You know, there are some other things in here.

14:41:58 If an inspector is identifying a problem, they ought to

14:42:01 help in identifying a solution, and working toward the

14:42:04 solution, not sticking them further deeper in mud in

14:42:10 the city process.

14:42:11 It is a complicated process.

14:42:12 And I noticed some of the other folks that spoke before

14:42:16 about saying the process doesn't move fast enough.

14:42:18 The remedies to correct these citations take time.

14:42:22 And frequently, you are in the process of remedying a

14:42:26 problem while fines are running.

14:42:28 So there may be this expectation the city is losing

14:42:31 thousands and thousands of dollars, but that's not the

14:42:34 case.

14:42:34 The property owners are working toward resolution of

14:42:37 this issue.

14:42:38 Whatever it is.

14:42:39 And it takes zoning time.

14:42:41 If you are required to get a zoning interpretation

14:42:43 letter to solve the problem, you spend another $500.

14:42:47 (Bell sounds)

14:42:48 Those fees should not be accruing to the property

14:42:51 owner.

14:42:52 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

14:42:53 Anyone else who has not spoken who would care to speak?

14:43:02 Jake, any final comments?

14:43:07 >>JAKE SLATER: Thank you for your time and your

14:43:09 involvement in code enforcement.

14:43:13 I always say when I go into work, you are kind of

14:43:18 damned if you do and damned if you don't.

14:43:20 We have 24 inspectors, serving 34,000 people, and we

14:43:25 are trying to do the best job as possible, working with

14:43:30 the overall groups and the citizens.

14:43:33 And I want to thank the people who came up this

14:43:36 afternoon, too.

14:43:40 Anything more we can do, please Lotus No. we are open

14:43:42 for any type of suggestions.

14:43:46 Thank you.

14:43:46 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Thank you very much.

14:43:47 We got the new clean-out version or somewhat cleaned

14:43:51 out completely.

14:43:52 But it's not numbered to correlate with the old one.

14:43:57 The old one understood C-3-C is the one that gave me

14:44:02 heartburn but it's not there in the new one.

14:44:04 So I appreciate that very much.

14:44:07 What's the direction?

14:44:08 >>MARTIN SHELBY: I'm sorry, if I could just have a

14:44:10 clarification.

14:44:10 I believe what you have here is not all of chapter 19.

14:44:14 Is that correct?

14:44:15 So if it's not on here but it's still existing in the

14:44:18 code, does that mean that it still is on the books?

14:44:23 >>ERNEST MUELLER: That's correct.

14:44:24 The only changes being proposed that we are looking for

14:44:26 direction are is what has been presented to you.

14:44:29 It will either be additions which are underlined or

14:44:32 strike throughs, other sections that are not addressed

14:44:35 here obviously will remain the same.

14:44:38 >>MARY MULHERN: Yes, I wanted to ask if we could --

14:44:48 maybe a motion to -- actually, first I would like to

14:44:54 hear from you about adding the -- having the notice --

14:44:59 the citation, about the hazardous tree, if we could

14:45:02 turn that into a permit, as Ms. Long suggested.

14:45:06 >>ERNEST MUELLER: I think it's an interesting

14:45:09 proposition.

14:45:09 I think it needs to be looked at and I think those

14:45:11 would be changes not here but in chapter 13, the tree

14:45:16 code actually.

14:45:17 I think what would probably be the better place for

14:45:19 those changes to be made rather than in chapter 19.

14:45:23 But I think certainly we can look at that.

14:45:26 >>MARY MULHERN: Maybe when you come back with this you

14:45:31 could have some advice and pass along to land

14:45:36 development, I guess, if that's where it shush.

14:45:38 >>ERNEST MUELLER: That or the Parks Department.

14:45:41 Grand trees, we are going to have to deal with the

14:45:43 Parks Department, we are dealing with protected trees,

14:45:46 I think we have to deal with both Parks Department and

14:45:51 land also.

14:45:55 >>MARY MULHERN: But the notice is coming from the --

14:45:59 >>JIM SHIMBERG: If you ask to move forward with these

14:46:00 changes, had could you also ask administration, I

14:46:03 guess, to come back with a report on what changes would

14:46:05 be necessary to accomplish the suggestions that Ms.

14:46:09 Long made.

14:46:09 >>MARY MULHERN: I think that one sounded like a simple

14:46:14 thing to do.

14:46:16 So hopefully --

14:46:21 >>ERNEST MUELLER: It sound reasonable but --

14:46:27 >>MARY MULHERN: Right, nothing is simple.

14:46:29 But, okay, I think you -- I would ask that they come

14:46:35 back with a report on that. But we did hear a lot of

14:46:37 other recommendations relating to the changes in

14:46:42 chapter 19.

14:46:43 So, you know, we would like a report, maybe an answer

14:46:47 to the questions we heard from the public today, at the

14:46:54 next meeting.

14:46:55 And, now.

14:47:02 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: She's asking for an answer.

14:47:05 >>JIM SHIMBERG: I think she's asking us to come back

14:47:07 with possibly a response to some of comment made.

14:47:09 >>MARY MULHERN: Yeah, right.

14:47:10 So maybe, I don't know, 60 days or something come back

14:47:13 with some responses to specifically to the problems

14:47:19 with the collection at the transfer of property, the

14:47:22 enforcement of the violations.

14:47:30 >>JIM SHIMBERG: We could come back with a more specific

14:47:31 report on that, because I know there was an executive

14:47:34 order that was, I guess, put out sometime in the mid

14:47:37 2000s by the prior behavior that developed the sliding

14:47:43 scale that Ernie was referring to and we could take

14:47:46 another look and that, and also whether those were

14:47:52 there are some circumstances where you might agree with

14:47:54 a new property owner in exchange for reduction and a

14:47:58 fine, they are going to agree to correct certain

14:48:00 things, and if not the fines would remain on the

14:48:02 property.

14:48:02 So we can come back with a report on that.

14:48:04 >>MARY MULHERN: Yeah, a report on that.

14:48:06 So it was an executive order from --

14:48:12 >>JIM SHIMBERG: Mayor Iorio.

14:48:15 >>MARY MULHERN: Mayor Iorio.

14:48:17 >>JIM SHIMBERG: And they instructed that department,

14:48:21 certain cases at a certain scale schedule whether it

14:48:25 was owner occupied, different factors.

14:48:27 >>MARY MULHERN: Okay.

14:48:30 >>JIM SHIMBERG: And operating understood that for a

14:48:31 number of years.

14:48:32 >>MARY MULHERN: Right.

14:48:33 But that's something that we could look at.

14:48:36 >>JIM SHIMBERG: Sure.

14:48:36 >>MARY MULHERN: We could rewrite that.

14:48:39 So, yes, if you could give us a recommendation on that,

14:48:43 to hear from Ernie and Jake about -- in real world, do

14:48:47 you think we could be strictly enforcing this in maybe

14:48:52 we just need to change the scale.

14:48:56 >>JIM SHIMBERG: Also Mr. Cohen's comment about looking

14:48:57 into the collection agency that the state uses.

14:49:01 We can also report back on that.

14:49:04 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Ms. Capin?

14:49:06 >>YVONNE CAPIN: Thank you.

14:49:07 The collection agency, the report on the sliding scale

14:49:09 schedule?

14:49:11 Because that's what we are looking at, right?

14:49:13 And then is this all under chapter 13?

14:49:18 You mentioned chapter 13.

14:49:24 >>JIM SHIMBERG: Chapter 13 is the tree issue.

14:49:27 >>YVONNE CAPIN: The other question, is there a charge

14:49:28 for the arborist to come out?

14:49:30 No?

14:49:34 >>JIM SHIMBERG: No.

14:49:35 If there's a complaint.

14:49:40 That's basically what we would use.

14:49:43 Certified arborist.

14:49:45 >>YVONNE CAPIN: So that could be a possibility to look

14:49:47 at.

14:49:47 >>> I don't know that answer.

14:49:53 >>JIM SHIMBERG: This is based upon a complaint about a

14:49:55 particular tree like a neighbor would say this tree in

14:49:57 my neighbor's yard looks like it's about to fall on my

14:50:00 property.

14:50:01 They inspect it and say, yes, it is a hazardous tree.

14:50:04 The comment today was, should that eventually act as

14:50:08 your permit?

14:50:08 You have to go through a separate process to have the

14:50:12 city again say if it's hazardous, time should be of the

14:50:16 essence in that situation.

14:50:19 >>YVONNE CAPIN: I understand.

14:50:20 I'm the one that was trying to clarify that.

14:50:28 That would be doing -- looking at the trees, looking at

14:50:33 the report from the sliding scale schedule, and the

14:50:37 collection agency.

14:50:41 So those three reports, or three different --

14:50:46 >>JIM SHIMBERG: We could report back on those three

14:50:48 issues, and then you can decide now if you want to move

14:50:50 forward with these changes and schedule those.

14:50:55 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Let me just say one thing.

14:50:56 The ultimate goal, and I was told years back in code

14:50:59 enforcement, was to bring the property into compliance.

14:51:04 Fees became secondary to compliance.

14:51:06 Why?

14:51:06 Because if stays stalemated the city doesn't get

14:51:10 anything, the neighborhood doesn't gain, nobody gains,

14:51:13 and it is just the way it is, an eyesore.

14:51:16 So that's why we have the sliding scale.

14:51:19 If you can work something out between the property

14:51:21 owner who is buying who had nothing to do with it to

14:51:23 make it an enhancement and work things out, and the

14:51:26 majority of the time it works out.

14:51:27 Not all the time but it works out.

14:51:29 So therefore what's the pleasure of the council to move

14:51:32 forward?

14:51:33 >>MARY MULHERN: Okay, I was starting to make a motion,

14:51:35 then I was told it was a different chapter.

14:51:37 But between those three things that between

14:51:41 Councilwoman Capin and I brought up, if we could put

14:51:45 that on there, or I could make a separate motion for

14:51:47 the tree if you wanted.

14:51:50 But that's a motion.

14:51:51 But I do want to respond to say one thing to what you

14:51:55 are saying, Councilman Miranda, because what Ms.

14:51:59 Constantino was talking about was compliance and the

14:52:02 fact that people are not complying because the fines

14:52:04 aren't being enforced.

14:52:06 So if they know that they can get away with not

14:52:09 complying, you know, and that sliding scale is allowing

14:52:15 them to get away with not fixing it --

14:52:20 >>JIM SHIMBERG: We can report on that and come back.

14:52:23 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Please state your motion for the

14:52:24 clerk so she can have accurately.

14:52:25 >>MARY MULHERN: Okay.

14:52:26 My motion is that in 60 days, whatever date that would

14:52:32 be, in a couple months, so we could do it in September.

14:52:42 August or September.

14:52:47 How about August 4?

14:52:49 Come back with staff report on, one, changing the grand

14:52:57 tree notification, I don't know if it's a citation they

14:53:02 got.

14:53:02 Is that what they got?

14:53:03 If they have a hazardous tree?

14:53:06 >>JIM SHIMBERG: Determination that --

14:53:08 >>MARY MULHERN: Determination making that as the

14:53:12 actual permit to have the tree removed or trimmed or

14:53:15 whatever.

14:53:16 Also, to report to us on the possibility of Mr. Cohen's

14:53:20 suggestion of employing a collection agency for code

14:53:24 enforcement.

14:53:26 And a third thing was to talk about the schedule of --

14:53:34 >>JIM SHIMBERG: Review that.

14:53:37 >>MARY MULHERN: Schedule of fines that can transfer a

14:53:39 property point.

14:53:43 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I have a motion by Mrs. Mulhern.

14:53:44 Seconded by Mrs. Capin.

14:53:46 All in favor?

14:53:49 Opposed?

14:53:50 The Ayes have it unanimously.

14:53:51 That's for August 4th.

14:53:52 >>MARTIN SHELBY: I'm sorry, Mr. Chairman, but I think

14:53:55 it would be useful for council, obviously, when you

14:53:57 make that report and provide the backup materials to

14:53:59 include that executive order so they see what is

14:54:01 presently in existence.

14:54:05 >>JIM SHIMBERG: Correct.

14:54:05 And whether they recommend any changes.

14:54:07 Okay.

14:54:09 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: All right.

14:54:09 Any further discussion on this item?

14:54:15 >>> Are we going to have a motion on this?

14:54:17 >> (off microphone) I will make a motion to direct

14:54:27 legal -- on provision today's.

14:54:33 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Second by Mrs. Capin.

14:54:35 I want to indicate that these general provisions were

14:54:38 just received at the time I sat down here today, that I

14:54:40 have not read them.

14:54:44 I'm just saying it oh it record.

14:54:45 That what I had and what came in is two different

14:54:48 items.

14:54:48 Am I correct?

14:54:49 >>ERNEST MUELLER: What we provided today is the last

14:54:54 set of changes that we made regarding input that we

14:54:57 received.

14:54:57 So if you were to ask us to go forward, we would put

14:55:01 through these changes.

14:55:03 That's what would go --

14:55:06 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I'm asking you, did this council

14:55:08 have any time at all to read them or did they find them

14:55:10 when they came to sit down today?

14:55:14 >>JIM SHIMBERG: Has anything changed from earlier?

14:55:17 >>ERNEST MUELLER: Well, some of the changes you see --

14:55:23 12347 just answer whether we see them when we came in

14:55:27 today for the first time?

14:55:28 Yes or no?

14:55:30 >>JIM SHIMBERG: Is it any different than what was shown

14:55:32 this week?

14:55:33 >>ERNEST MUELLER: From the time we met with each one

14:55:34 of you there has been some changes, some things on the

14:55:37 input that you guys provided.

14:55:39 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: So no council member in essence has

14:55:41 seen these changes until they came in today?

14:55:44 >>ERNEST MUELLER: I believe Mr. Cohen, which is the

14:55:46 last one, and Mr. Reddick have seen.

14:55:51 >> Jake went through them.

14:55:55 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: But there were things that were

14:55:56 deleted that are not here in this original so this is

14:55:58 not the original true copy?

14:56:00 >>ERNEST MUELLER: This is not the copy that you saw,

14:56:02 Mr. Miranda, when we saw you because we made changes.

14:56:05 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I said in the past I was going to

14:56:06 get very strict with these things.

14:56:09 I want these to council 48 hours before and anything

14:56:12 shown in the video by the clerk's office 48 hours

14:56:14 before in the room so that everybody was on the same

14:56:18 page.

14:56:18 Am I will correct?

14:56:19 >>ERNEST MUELLER: I would assume so, yes.

14:56:22 I mean, I --

14:56:25 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Mrs. Mulhern?

14:56:27 >>MARY MULHERN: I was going to ask when you would want

14:56:29 to feel comfortable coming back with this, or if you

14:56:32 want to advise that we would have enough time before

14:56:37 they come back.

14:56:38 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Not before we come back.

14:56:39 It's August 4th.

14:56:42 >>JIM SHIMBERG: Yes, August 4 is the first meeting.

14:56:44 >>MARY MULHERN: That's my motion.

14:56:46 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: A motion -- huh?

14:56:49 >>MARY MULHERN: My motion is to direct legal to come

14:56:52 back with an ordinance with these general provisions on

14:56:58 August 4th.

14:57:05 And obviously you would be meeting with us before then,

14:57:07 to make sure that we have it, I would say a week in

14:57:12 advance, the draft ordinance.

14:57:19 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Let me see if I understood what you

14:57:20 said.

14:57:21 You are going to have the ordinance prepared for August

14:57:23 4 but you want the legal department to address each

14:57:25 council member a week before August 4?

14:57:28 >>MARY MULHERN: I would say to try to correct the

14:57:30 problem that you pointed out that we didn't have

14:57:33 this -- this language 48 hours ahead.

14:57:39 But if we ask for having the ordinance in writing, a

14:57:42 draft ordinance prepared, and council has it a week

14:57:46 before the August 1st meeting, we would have time

14:57:49 to review it.

14:57:55 >>JIM SHIMBERG: And I apologize for any confusion.

14:57:57 One minor clarification.

14:57:59 If you look at the second painful on C, there was a

14:58:01 provision there that caused some concern when some of

14:58:03 the discussions were had with certain council members,

14:58:06 it looked like they weren't sure what we were doing and

14:58:08 whether we were creating too much power and going on

14:58:10 people's property.

14:58:11 And so what they did was they just struck that whole

14:58:14 section out.

14:58:16 That's an example of the kind of changes that were made

14:58:18 after discussing it with council.

14:58:19 So I'm sorry if he --

14:58:27 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Well, on this new one than we got

14:58:29 when we came in, I can't identify, there's I not

14:58:35 numbered like the other ones.

14:58:36 So there's a lot of things we could do and that we

14:58:39 didn't do and I'm not blame no one.

14:58:41 >>MARY MULHERN: Page number?

14:58:44 >>JIM SHIMBERG: Shim it has page numbers.

14:58:46 >>MARTIN SHELBY: Mr. Shimberg, you just mentioned

14:58:48 section C on the second page.

14:58:52 The one that's in front of council today.

14:58:53 >>JIM SHIMBERG: 19.4-C.

14:58:55 >> I told him to take out.

14:59:03 >>JIM SHIMBERG: That's been struck out.

14:59:04 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: That's all deleted.

14:59:06 >>JIM SHIMBERG: Prior there were changes made to the

14:59:08 section instead of just striking through the whole

14:59:10 thing.

14:59:10 And that's an example.

14:59:15 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Anything that has a line through it

14:59:16 has been deleted.

14:59:17 I understand.

14:59:18 Anything else?

14:59:19 I have a motion made by Ms. Mulhern, second by Mr.

14:59:24 Reddick.

14:59:25 All in favor?

14:59:26 Opposed?

14:59:26 The ayes have it unanimously.

14:59:28 Anything else to come before this council today?

14:59:32 I need a motion to receive and file all the documents.

14:59:36 I need a motion for the file.

14:59:39 I have a motion by Mrs. Mulhern, seconded by Mrs.

14:59:43 Montelione.

14:59:44 All in favor of the motion?

14:59:46 Opposed?

14:59:47 The Ayes have it unanimously.

14:59:48 We go right to left with new business Mr. Suarez.

14:59:50 >>MIKE SUAREZ: No new business.

14:59:53 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Mr. Reddick.

14:59:54 >>FRANK REDDICK: Yes.

14:59:58 Before you get out of here, under new business, I want

15:00:01 to ask legal to if they can provide an update at the

15:00:08 July 14 meeting on the status report, the legal status

15:00:13 report of the former police captain Marion Lewis case,

15:00:19 as well as the -- the current cost analysis that goes

15:00:25 with that pending issue.

15:00:31 And costs associated with the case.

15:00:33 >>MARY MULHERN: Seconded by Mrs. Mulhern.

15:00:38 All in favor?

15:00:39 The ayes have it unanimously.

15:00:40 Anything else, sir?

15:00:42 >>FRANK REDDICK: No, sir.

15:00:43 >> Ms. Mulhern?

15:00:45 >>MARY MULHERN: Actually, I wanted to ask Councilman

15:00:50 Reddick if anyone else heard about this.

15:00:53 But the question of the city pools and which ones were

15:00:56 going to be open.

15:00:57 Has anyone heard?

15:00:58 Okay, I would like to ask parks and recreation, Ms.

15:01:04 Palus, to report to us on the status of the city pools

15:01:09 and which ones, what will be open this summer, and what

15:01:14 repairs are needed and the cost to repairs, where ware

15:01:18 with the repairs.

15:01:20 City pools.

15:01:23 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: There's Williams pool, Interbay

15:01:25 pool, and I think an article in the paper of the Roy

15:01:27 Jenkins pool, the progress coming along.

15:01:29 Motion by Mrs. Mulhern.

15:01:31 >>MARTIN SHELBY: Date for that, please?

15:01:34 >>MARY MULHERN: I would like to hear next week.

15:01:36 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I have a motion by Mrs. Mulhern for

15:01:38 next week under staff reports.

15:01:41 Seconded by Mr. Reddick on all the pools in the City of

15:01:45 Tampa that need addressing.

15:01:46 All in favor?

15:01:48 Opposed?

15:01:48 The ayes have it unanimously.

15:01:49 Anything else, ma'am?

15:01:50 >>MARY MULHERN: That's it for me.

15:01:53 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Mr. Cohen?

15:01:54 >>MIKE COHEN: I have one item, Mr. Chair.

15:01:57 Our agendas are getting awfully full.

15:02:00 And I wondered if -- I would like to make a motion to

15:02:04 ask the chair to review the agendas and see whether or

15:02:07 not some changes can be made of some of the things that

15:02:10 we have scheduled that maybe can be moved around,

15:02:14 because I know there's a lot of concern that some of

15:02:16 our upcoming meetings, we have way too much scheduled

15:02:20 than to be able to get through it all and give it the

15:02:24 time that it needs.

15:02:26 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I appreciate very much.

15:02:27 The first time I have heard this since it was changed,

15:02:31 it was changed for many years.

15:02:32 There was a council meeting every week, and then we

15:02:35 worked the additionals into the council meeting.

15:02:37 Now we specifically set aside every other week for

15:02:40 council meeting, and every other week for other things

15:02:44 like CRA.

15:02:45 And what's happening is that they are getting longer

15:02:47 and longer because the workload is more and more.

15:02:50 So I'm not opposed to reviewing those things.

15:02:54 I have a motion by Mr. Cohen, second by Mr. Reddick.

15:02:57 Any further discussion?

15:03:01 >>MARY MULHERN: Our council meetings have gotten

15:03:03 shorter and shorter, but have become longer and longer.

15:03:08 They typically were all day for the last several years,

15:03:11 and I think mostly because of the downturn in the

15:03:13 economy, there's so much less changes going on with

15:03:17 zoning and land use, but we haven't had as many.

15:03:20 But I think also they are getting really full right now

15:03:22 because of the vacation and the budget coming up.

15:03:26 So I think it would be great if you looked at next

15:03:28 week's especially because it is going to be.

15:03:36 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Motion.

15:03:36 Mrs. Montelione?

15:03:38 >>LISA MONTELIONE: This has to do with that motion,

15:03:40 because I am fully appreciative of Councilman Cohen's

15:03:45 recommendation.

15:03:46 Specifically on the 28th, we have the 9 a.m.

15:03:49 presentation of the budget, the commendations, and then

15:03:53 all the candidates for interviews for the various

15:03:56 boards, and Planning Commission, I understand we have

15:03:59 eleven individuals.

15:04:01 Hole have applied.

15:04:02 So if we can reschedule perhaps maybe just the

15:04:07 interviews for the afternoon, that would be helpful.

15:04:13 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: I will review it if it passes.

15:04:15 Seconded by Mr. Reddick.

15:04:16 All in favor of the motion?

15:04:18 Opposed?

15:04:19 The Ayes have it unanimously.

15:04:20 Anything else, Mr. Cohen?

15:04:22 Mrs. Montelione?

15:04:23 >>LISA MONTELIONE: None for me.

15:04:26 >>CHARLIE MIRANDA: Anything else to come before this

15:04:27 council?

15:04:29 We stand adjourned.

15:04:32 (City Council meeting adjourned)



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